Restaurant News & Reviews

Tom Hanchett: Stumble upon Turkish eats near UNC Charlotte

Lahmajoun is a Turkish cousin of pizza.
Lahmajoun is a Turkish cousin of pizza.

You might not look twice at Wrapway, located in a generic shopping plaza on Highway 49 just past UNC Charlotte near I-485. But if you ventured inside, you’d find a menu of Mediterranean wraps, rice bowls and salads. And lahmajoun.

Lahmajoun? That’s from Turkey!

Lahmajoun is a Turkish cousin of pizza. An ultra-thin flatbread called lavash — made daily in-house — is covered with ground beef in a blend of 15 ingredients, notably urfa pepper flakes found only in Turkey.

At Wrapway, you can get lahmajoun rolled up as an American-style wrap. But you should order it the Turkish traditional way. That’s open flat, with marinated sweet peppers, onions, lettuce and miniature pickles on the side, the bread crisp and puffy from the hot oven.

Wrapway’s co-owners both hail from Turkey. Baha Sahin came to the U.S. with an information technology start-up, but he always loved cooking. In Charlotte, he met Elton Veziroglu, a fellow techie with a restaurant dream.

Wrapway owners
Elton Veziroglu (left) and Baha Sahin from Turkey launched Wrapway in early 2018. Tom Hanchett

“The fastest-growing segments of the American restaurant market? Fast-casual eateries and Mediterranean food,” Veziroglu says. Wrapway combines the two, perhaps the first store in a future chain.

Along with lahmajoun, Wrapway features another Turkish item. Most Middle Eastern cultures have a kabob made of grain, ground meat and spices. In Turkey, it is called çiğ köfte and has a popular variation that omits the meat. It’s usually served cold, wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

Wrapway calls theirs a “grainburger.” It’s a blend of cracked wheat, avocado oil, ground walnuts and gentle spices that comes sprinkled with hemp seeds and drizzled in pomegranate molasses — totally vegan. You won’t miss the meat.

Wrapway’s vegetarian offerings also include a “Greek Village salad” — another nod to Turkish tradition. Sahin is from Çanakkale on the Aegean Sea. Today part of Turkey, it was the legendary Greek city of Troy in ancient times.

Says Sahin proudly, “The Trojan War happened on my hometown beach.”

Find community historian Tom Hanchett’s writings at HistorySouth.org. Reach him at Tom@HistorySouth.org.

Wrapway

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

Location: 10221 University City Blvd. (NC 49).

Details: 844-972-7929; www.wrapway.us.

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