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Turkish Refugee Opens Greek, Turkish San Francisco Restaurant Treat

SAN FRANSISCO – Turkey and Greece may be at near-conflict points sometimes but Cem Bulutoglu, a Turkish refugee to the United States, puts that aside at his Greek and Turkish-inspired restaurant, Gyros and Tzatziki in San Francisco.

Located in the Mission district, it advertises kebabs and falafel on the sign to further tie together the two cultures that have so many ties, especially with food – and conversation.

There’s a lesson for Turks and Greeks, to sit down and break bread together instead cracking heads, and he reaches out to the diverse community around him, putting his own version of tacos on the menu.

The food is mostly Greek but has some Turkish favorites too, including the yogurt drink Aryan, said Mission Local, which he co-owned a Greek restaurant in the city before, gaining experience.

He’s painted the place blue and white, reminiscent of Greece and said the top draw is gyros – his favorite is the beef and lamb – but he offers food for vegans and a special tzatziki sauce, learned from watching his mother. And business is good, although for now limited to dine-in and takeout.


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