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Boat-Shaped Turkish Pizzas Anchor D.C.’s Newest Fast-Casual Eatery

Traditional Turkish street foods take center stage at Tempo

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The 45-seat Tempo quietly started feeding downtown’s 9-to-5 crowd last week.
Tempo/official photo

Downtown newcomer Tempo slowly started rolling out its inaugural menu this month, featuring build-your-own flatbreads, salads, falafel, and other items commonly found at roadside stands in Istanbul.

The star offering at the 45-seat eatery (1195 20th Street NW) is a boat-shaped Turkish pizza called “pide” that bakes in less than two minutes, with toppings like eggplant, chicken, lamb, Turkish pastrami, or spinach ($10.59 to $11.99). Or customers can make their own, created with an assortment of featured meats and vegetables, for under $10.

Stay tuned for solidified hours of operation and its full opening menu, with a loaded Turkish baked potato dubbed “kumpir” expected to join the lineup soon. The classic to-go order comes mashed with butter and cheese, with 15 toppings to choose from.

Tempo Menu by Tierney Plumb on Scribd

For now, its limited menu includes a “street specialties” section featuring a spicy grilled beef sausage, served in a rice bowl or pita with toppings ($8.39 to $9.59). There’s also lahmacun (thin-crust flatbread with minced beef and herbs), doner (Turkish-style shawarma or gyro), falafels, and salads (with greens as bases and toppings with dressings made on-site).

Tempo’s main offering is a Turkish-style “pide” that comes with an array of toppings.
Tempo/official photo

The family-run business comes from Bethesda restaurateur Ugur Altintas.

“It’s a modern, casual way to eat Turkish food as opposed to the finer dining options in D.C.,” Selin Altintas, Ugur’s daughter, tells Eater. “It’s been awesome to begin to already see regulars during the lunch rush. Reminds us as a family why we love doing what we do.”

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