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Archive for December, 2009

Dec 31
Thursday

Beans: An Investigative Report

Filed under Features


Editor’s note: In honor of New Year’s Day, we are rerunning this feature, which was originally posted in April of this year. Happy New Year to all our readers and keep coming back for more in 2010!

Until we visited some of Istanbul’s shrines to the baked bean, we generally regarded the dish as something eaten out of a can beside railroad tracks. But Turkey takes this humble food seriously; that means chefs in tall toques carefully ladling out golden beans in a rich red gravy onto monogrammed flatware, served by waiters wearing bowties and vests. Even in the least formal of Istanbul’s beaneries, the guy manning the pot has the air of a high priest knowing that his incantations alone conjure something unusually delicious out of a simple dry white legume. This is no hobo fare.

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Sofyalı 9: Keeping it Real in Asmalımescit
3 responses - Posted 12.28.09
It’s hard not to feel pangs of nostalgia when walking through Beyoğlu’s booming Asmalımescit neighborhood these days (and nights). The old corner butcher shop with its window display of lamb carcasses? Gone and replaced by a generic bar imaginatively named “The Corner.” The veteran grocery store where the colorful and ...continue
Istanbul Eats Drinks: Otantik Türkü Bar
3 responses - Posted 12.21.09
One night in Otantik, a Türkü (Turkish folk music) bar in Beyoğlu, delivers all the emotional peaks and valleys of life itself. As the saz-strumming bard on stage moans out the first few bars of a familiar song of lost love, even the table of stony-faced, rakı-drenched fellows in leather ...continue
Ciğerimin Köşesi: New (Kebab) Kid on the Block
2 responses - Posted 12.16.09
We’ve long been big fans of Canım Ciğerim, a wonderful kebab joint in Beyoğlu's Asmalımescit area that serves up thin, long skewers studded with tiny and very tender morsels of either beef or liver. Recently we noticed the arrival of Ciğerimin Köşesi (“My Liver’s Corner,” roughly translated), a gleaming, new kebab ...continue
Dine Like an Ottoman
1 response - Posted 12.14.09
The Wall Street Journal has a new article up about some of the high-end restaurants in Istanbul that are rediscovering formal Ottoman cooking, but also giving it a "contemporary" spin. One of them, the newly opened Karakol, located inside an old guardhouse on the grounds of Topkapı Palace, sounds especially ...continue
Istanbul Eats Drinks: Araf Cafe Bar
3 responses - Posted 12.11.09
Editor’s note: Since we realize that those who love to eat usually also like to drink, we are introducing a new feature, “Istanbul Eats Drinks,” an occasional look at some of the city’s more appealing bars and lounges, places that still have that authentic Istanbul vibe. Istanbul: capitol of contradictions. East ...continue
A Cornucopia of Reviews
no responses - Posted 12.07.09
We've always enjoyed  Cornucopia magazine and its sumptuous take on Turkish life, culture and history. But for us, the best part of the magazine is the restaurant review section and its writeups by Andrew Finkel, a veteran Turkey-based journalist who seems equally at home in both Istanbul's upscale and down-home ...continue
Istanbul’s Top 5 Street Foods: #1 – Sabırtaşı’s İçli Köfte
5 responses - Posted 12.04.09
Editors's note: This is the final installment in our (highly subjective) look at Istanbul's top five street foods. For years on İstiklal Caddesi, just beyond Galatasaray High School, in one calm spot stood the beatific Ali Bey, an angel in a white doctor’s coat offering salvation in the form of golden ...continue
Istanbul’s Top 5 Street Foods: #2 – Çıtır Simit Bakery
9 responses - Posted 12.03.09
Editor's note: While name of this bakery has recently been changed to Galata Simitçisi, nothing else has changed: the same usta is still baking the same crispy, fresh simit. Let’s hear it for the (deceptively simple) simit. With only a few ingredients to its name, this sesame-encrusted bread ring has gone ...continue
Istanbul’s Top 5 Street Foods: #3 – Kızılkayalar’s Wet Burger
8 responses - Posted 12.02.09
Editor’s note: This is the third installment in our look at Istanbul’s top five street foods. The sign may read “Wet Burger” (“Islak Burger” in Turkish), but there’s a lot more to say about Kızılkayalar’s moist mini-patties than that. How about “Heavenly Slider,” “Binge Drinker’s Delight,” or “The Best 2 Lira ...continue
Istanbul’s Top 5 Street Foods: #4 – Maya Kumpir
7 responses - Posted 12.01.09
Editor's note: This is the second installment in our look at Istanbul's top fıve street foods. It was written by Jason D. Jones, an American expat living in Istanbul. Although it’s been a staple food for many civilizations for over 2,000 years, the potato has largely been relegated to the role ...continue

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