Owner of Mediterranean Breeze Shares His Love for Turkish Cuisine
The owner of Mediterranean Breeze in Olympia, Mehmet Sipahioglu has a genuine passion for Turkish food. His signature wood-fired cooking made completely from scratch has people in Washington State talking. Located just off Harrison Avenue, guests enjoy a wide range of menu options.
Sipahioglu has years of experience in the restaurant and food service industry. Hailing from Turkey, in 2002 he decided to look for new opportunities, which prompted him to come to the United States. After learning English, he earned a living painting houses and today, still have a separate house painting business. However, his real passion and dream was to open a restaurant.
While in Turkey, Sipahioglu worked at his uncle’s restaurant where he learned the business. In addition, he learned a lot about ingredients from his father who raised cows and chickens, and sold produce.
After being in the US for 13 years, Sipahioglu’s dream came to fruition when Mediterranean Breeze opened. Initially, the 5,500 square foot space was home to Apollo’s, an Italian restaurant, but now, Sipahioglu’s restaurant and bar fills the space with delicious food and loyal patrons.
Prior to opening the restaurant, Sipahioglu spend a great deal of time studying other Turkish restaurants located all over the United States. It was during this time that he made the decision to use fresh ingredients, make everything completely from scratch, and cook with wood-fired heat. With this, a remarkable menu was created and last June, the doors to Mediterranean Breeze opened for business.
Although much of the focus is on Turkish food, with Sipahioglu being unsure how customers would respond to an all-Turkish menu, he kept both pasta and pizza on the menu. At first, the pizza was a big seller but as more and more people try the Turkish menu items, it has become less popular.
Today, one of the most popular menu items at Mediterranean Breeze is the Iskender Kebab, which is thinly sliced lamb or beef on a bed of diced homemade pita bread topped with yogurt, butter, peppers, grilled tomatoes, and a special sauce. However, kebobs made from chicken, as well as seafood are also top sellers. Even the salads and desserts including Turkish Irmik and rice pudding are superior.
As explained by Sipahioglu, there is something on the menu for everyone. Because the Mediterranean region has influenced Turkish foods, Sipahioglu wanted to make sure the interior, as well as menu showed respect for other cultures. For the people of Olympia and surrounding areas, this restaurant is quickly becoming a favorite.