Join our mailing list!
Email :  


Apr 22
Tuesday

Erol Lokantası: The Un-Tourist Trap

Reviews (Eats)

Erol Lokantası, photo by Ansel Mullins

Şenol Erol is trying to remain optimistic about running the last esnaf lokantası in Sultanahmet, where the market seems to demand tourist traps over traditional tradesman’s restaurants. “I guess that makes us unique, doing things the old way,” he says, as if this vintage eatery needed a tagline.

Our first meal at his eponymous restaurant felt as if it could have been our five-hundredth, so familiar was the worn but carefully preserved interior with its brown, brushed aluminum window frames, dented stainless coolers grumbling along well past their prime, tired but friendly white-haired and jacketed waiter and framed posters of the verdant hills of the Erol family homeland, the eastern Black Sea.

But it’s not just the look of this place that makes it stand out among its neighbors, most notably the Cheers Café Bar and the Bistro across the street. “We make the food fresh every morning, from scratch. Not everyone does that around here,” Erol says. It’s one thing to hand pat a cooler full of köfteevery morning, but it is another thing entirely to prepare a seasonal menu with range and variety.

Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.

Share on Facebook
Post to Google Buzz
Bookmark this on Google Bookmarks
Bookmark this on Yahoo Bookmark
Bookmark this on Digg
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on FriendFeed

Features - 2014-04-19 - comment

First Stop: Aslı Aydıntaşbaş’s Istanbul

First Stop: Aslı Aydıntaşbaş's Istanbul Editor’s note: We asked Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, a columnist for Turkish daily Milliyet, where she heads first for food when she returns to Istanbul after a trip abroad. Aydıntaşbaş is also a commentator on CNNTürk’s show “Karşı Gündem” and has ... continue

Reviews (Eats) - 2014-04-16 - comment

Spring (Food) Break 2014

Spring (Food) Break 2014 With all of the anticipation of local elections in March, the scandalous graft-laden tapes leaked via social media, the communication fog brought on by the ban of Twitter and YouTube and the subsequent call for a vote ... continue

Reviews (Eats) - 2014-04-09 - comment

Erzincan Tandır Ekmeği: Village Loaves for City Folks

Erzincan Tandır Ekmeği: Village Loaves for City Folks In the Kurtuluş district of Istanbul, we’ve lately been exploring links to older, nearly lost, Istanbul culinary traditions. Spending time in the sweetshops, milk bars and şarküteri of this district, we’ve seen a glimmer, if faded, of the “Old ... continue

Features - 2014-03-29 - comment

First Stop: Ana Sortun

First Stop: Ana Sortun Editor’s note: In the inaugural post of our new recurring feature, First Stop, we ask Chef Ana Sortun of the much-beloved restaurant Oleana and bakery Sofra in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she heads first for food when she arrives ... continue

Reviews (Eats) - 2014-03-25 - 1 comment

Trileçe: Desserts without Borders

Trileçe: Desserts without Borders It’s hard to imagine Istanbul without its pastane windows stacked high with trays of ivory-colored flaky mille-feuille and coolers lined with row after row of chocolate-topped éclairs. And of course, the sweets scene in Istanbul would not be complete ... continue

News - 2014-03-13 - comment

Mourning in Istanbul: The Bread of Political Affliction

Mourning in Istanbul: The Bread of Political Affliction Since coming to Istanbul more than a decade ago, we have come to associate a loaf of the city’s iconic crusty white bread with satisfying lunches in an esnaf lokantası, using chunks of the humble loaf to sop up ... continue

Reviews (Eats) - 2014-03-06 - comment

Grills and Thrills: Istanbul’s Top 5 Kebab Restaurants

Grills and Thrills: Istanbul's Top 5 Kebab Restaurants If there are an estimated 17 million souls in Istanbul, then there are at least that many opinions on the best kebab house in town. There are stodgy oak-paneled rooms with country-club appeal, where well-dressed businessmen ... continue

Features - 2014-02-24 - comment

The Salepçi of Sütçüler: The Hard Life of a Sweet Trade

The Salepçi of Sütçüler: The Hard Life of a Sweet Trade By the name of the place, you’d expect the Sütçüler (“Milkmen” in English) district near Isparta in southern Turkey to be a dairyland paradise, thick on the ground with men carrying buckets sloshing fresh milk, cheese wheels ... continue

Reviews (Drinks) - 2014-02-20 - comment

Barba: Fun House

Barba: Fun House We like to think of the building at the corner of Sakız Ağacı Caddesi and Küçük Bayram Sokak as the mullet of the Beyoğlu neighborhood’s entertainment venues – out front is a tidy, little Armenian Catholic church, ... continue

Reviews (Drinks) - 2014-02-11 - comment

Vefa Boza: Strange Brew

Vefa Boza: Strange Brew Editor's note: In a recent New York Times article, Joshua Hammer wrote about a tour that Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk gave him through the author's native city and his personal history there. We were delighted to read that one of Pamuk's ... continue

Features - 2014-04-19 - comment

First Stop: Aslı Aydıntaşbaş’s Istanbul

First Stop: Aslı Aydıntaşbaş's Istanbul Editor’s note: We asked Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, a columnist for Turkish daily Milliyet, where she heads first for food when she returns to Istanbul after a trip abroad. Aydıntaşbaş is also a commentator on CNNTürk’s show “Karşı Gündem” and has written for numerous publications, including the former International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes and Newsweek. Funny enough, I don't really crave Turkish food ... continue


© Copyright by Istanbul Eats 2009 - 2014 Istanbul Eats | Original theme by Zidalgo.