Lades 2: A Beyoğlu Greasy Spoon
(Editor’s Note: In the midst of the excitement over our recent Saveur Magazine “Best Food Blog” nomination, we forgot to properly mark Istanbul Eats’ third anniversary. In honor of the occasion, we are rerunning our first post, which ran on April 1, 2009. Thank you to all our readers who have supported our explorations of Istanbul’s culinary backstreets over these three years, and stay tuned for more.)
The no-frills Lades 2 presents diners with that age-old question: what to eat first, the chicken or the eggs? This restaurant – a Turkish version of the American-style greasy spoon diner – specializes in all things fowl, from chicken soup, to a variety of egg dishes and even a dessert that, we kid you not, weds a thick, milky pudding with chicken. Even the name – “lades” means wishbone in Turkish – follows the chicken theme.
Lades 2 is located on a side street off the busy pedestrian-only İstiklal Caddesi, in a lively area filled with cafes and small nightclubs specializing in Turkish folk music. Across the street is the original Lades, a more respectable joint that serves classic Turkish food to a busy lunch crowd (and worth a visit in its own right). Lades 2 has a more proletarian vibe, with tables of mostly unaccompanied men scarfing down their food in a kind of monastic silence, broken only by the waiters shouting to the two short-order cooks in the back. (Click here to read the rest of this archived review.)