Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lunch in Turkey!

Now, we’re on our way to lunch. Yelda asked us if we’d want to go to a more local place rather than a typical tourist location. Sure! We were wondering what type of food is typical here in this part of Turkey – or really in any part of Turkey for that matter! We arrived at the restaurant. It wasn’t fancy, there were several tables outside, and Yelda brought us inside. There were tables inside, but more important, there was a display counter with fresh meats and the appetizer courses on display. Yelda, and perhaps the owner maybe, took us through our choices, explaining the different foods. Everything was pretty much what we would think of as Greek foods. She said that their proximity to Greece plays a big role on their diet. Other areas of Turkey are more influenced by a Middle Eastern culture and have a different diet.

We ended up choosing several different appetizers and main courses. The appetizers, or sort of tapas, were served family style and then our main dishes came out.

We chose hummus, a Tzatziki that was very traditional and one that was mint flavored, feta with tomatoes, an eggplant mixture, mushrooms with cheese, a cheese rolled with feta and of course fresh pita to eat with it all. I have never had such fresh tasting Greek, or shall we say Turkish food – ever! We invited Yelda to eat with us and really enjoyed one another’s company.

After our appetizers, out came the main dishes. Some of us got meats, to be made into gyros. The pita bread was a bit different from what we had with the appetizers. It was thinner. Others had a meatball type dish. Alex had some beef skewers. Everything had wonderful seasonings. All of the plates had a fresh salad that was served with olive oil and a pomegranate vinaigrette. It was all delicious – and of course, far too much food!

As we saw all day, we also had quite a few cats joining us for lunch!

To top it off, Yelda asked if we wanted to try Turkish Coffee.

Here's a picture I found online of what it really does look like before you drink it - it's thick...

Traditionally the grounds are boiled in a pot, sometimes with sugar - although if they were in our case, I didn't taste them!  And then they are allowed to settle.  Then the coffee is just poured into the cups - grounds and all.  It's a bit muddy...

My dad and I took her up on the offer and maybe when she chose to get tea we should have taken that as a hint! It was pretty darn nasty! Once you got past the initial, well I suppose the word would be shock! Then you could manage to sip it. I’m used to cream and sugar in my coffee, so regardless it would have seemed really strong to me. But also, you can’t drink the full tiny cup because all of the coffee grounds are still in the cup and it’s really sludgy. That would be the best way to describe it! But we were glad to have tried it and it perked us up for our next stop! Tummies full and fully caffeinated, off we went to our next destination!

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