TuesdayFiled under Reviews (Eats)
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.
All entries filed under Reviews (Eats)
no responses - Posted 04.16.14
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 recount in many cities, this city’s stomach had good reason to be distracted. ...continue
no responses - Posted 04.09.14
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 Istanbul” that people remember from the 1950s and '60s, when the city’s historic ...continue
1 response - Posted 03.25.14
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 without the much-loved profiterole.Generations of İstanbullu have taken pleasure in these French exotics, but at ...continue
no responses - Posted 03.06.14
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 marvel at heaping plates of delicious grilled meat. And there are 24/7 hole-in-the-walls, ...continue
1 response - Posted 02.04.14
Turkey as a country does not deal in absolutes, even though some of its more bombastic citizens are known to. So when one hears the numerous bewildered complaints about Istanbul’s dearth of falafel and hummus, the correct response is not “Turkish food is not chickpea-compliant,” but “You are not going ...continue
no responses - Posted 01.23.14
“I’m not a missionary, but I am not doing this just to make a profit. People must see that there is mantı outside of Kayseri, there’s Crimean Tatar mantı, as well,” explained Gülben Resuloğlu, in front of her restaurant in the leafy Feneryolu district of Istanbul’s Asian Side. If Martha Stewart were ...continue
no responses - Posted 01.17.14
Istanbul is a dynamic city, where conditions can change so quickly and completely that it’s easy to forget the way things used to be. The new reality can be so strong and ever-present that the past feels like a hazy dream, if that. But no, this is not an article ...continue
no responses - Posted 01.08.14
Near the Aksaray metro station, set back from a loveless part of Istanbul crossed by wide roads and overpasses, the kebab is flourishing. Over the past few decades, waves of migration have brought a particularly southeast Anatolian flavor to the otherwise drab apartment blocks and government buildings of this part ...continue
1 response - Posted 12.23.13
Breakfast in Erzincan We were strangers in a strange land – eastern Turkey’s Erzincan, to be exact – and Yalçın Kaya welcomed us into his cheese shop with such gracious fervor that it didn’t surprise us to find out that this Anatolian cheesemonger moonlights as an imam. "Have you had breakfast?" the ...continue
2 responses - Posted 12.03.13
When we last visited Cemal Bey, he was sitting behind a desk in a small, bare office on the second floor of a decrepit building near the Egyptian Bazaar in the city’s old quarter (he has since moved). Three large burlap sacks filled with what look like jumbo-sized yellow raisins ...continue