MondayFiled under Reviews (Eats)
Kurtuluş Son Durak is a busy intersection and transit hub that’s a hive of activity 24 hours a day. Marking a transition between the tidy, middle-class Kurtuluş neighborhood and the rough-and-tumble quarters of Dolapdere and Hacıahmet, the area is home to a host of eateries and cafes that never seem to close.
Right in the center of it all, we stumbled across a diminutive white van rigged with a makeshift grill. Inside the tiny, elaborately decorated vehicle crouched Yıldırım Usta, a 75-year-old veteran of the kebab trade who has been serving up truly delicious dürüm – kebab wrapped up in flatbread – on Kurtuluş Son Durak for 28 years. He has lived in the area for just under half a century. “You see all these other kebab shops? I was here before all of them,” he told us.
It is no surprise that Yıldırım Usta adheres to a system that hinges on absolute quality and freshness, and embodies the term usta, master, to the fullest extent.
Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.
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no responses - Posted 09.20.16
We got hungry after doing some serious exploration in the Asian-side neighborhood of Mustafa Kemal, a hotbed for left-wing groups and a melange of informally built homes in the shadow of the rapidly developing district of Ataşehir. Passing by a string of uninspiring döner and pide joints, we inevitably opted ...continue
no responses - Posted 05.24.16
Istanbul’s Aksaray district is a difficult place to get to know. It's probably the most diverse district in all of Turkey and with a very high turnover rate. Those Georgian ladies you saw dragging an overstuffed plaid duffel down Buyuk Langa Caddesi yesterday? They might be halfway to Batumi by ...continue
no responses - Posted 05.11.16
The triangle of Kurtuluş, Feriköy and Bomonti represents an Istanbul on the verge of fading away. Though still inhabited by significant numbers of Greeks, Jews and Armenians, there are more local churches and synagogues than are used by the remnants of those diminished communities. The numerous schools, houses of worship and ...continue
no responses - Posted 04.06.16
We could devote a weekly column to the culinary treasures of Istanbul’s polyglot Aksaray district and probably never have to worry about running out of things to say. The area is jam-packed with places to eat, and while we've written about many of them, Aksaray just keeps on delivering. Having previously ...continue
no responses - Posted 12.15.15
Editor’s note: To give 2015 a proper send-off, we’re taking a look back at all our favorite eating experiences this year. Hamo’nun Yeri The nohut dürüm, a simple wrap of mashed chickpeas, peppers, parsley and spices, may be a popular breakfast choice in certain districts of the southeastern province of Gaziantep, but ...continue
no responses - Posted 11.24.15
Şehzade Erzurum Cağ Kebabı is one of our favorite places in Istanbul for a satisfying, lamby meal. You could easily walk past its handful of outdoor tables, tucked into a bustling pedestrian-only shopping street in the Sirkeci neighborhood. But if you stay, proprietor and head grill master Özcan Yıldırım will make ...continue
no responses - Posted 11.13.15
Editor's note: In the latest installment of our ongoing series First Stop, we asked Stavriani Zervakakou, chef of the restaurant Karaköy Gümrük in Istanbul, where she stops first for food when she returns to Istanbul. (We've written previously about her First Stop in Athens.) Lamb liver skewers in the Aksaray district’s Horhor ...continue
no responses - Posted 11.02.15
In many parts of Istanbul, it’s not unusual to reside amidst industry in progress. It could be a workshop in your building’s basement where fire extinguishers are refilled, a copper pot re-tinning enterprise just outside your front door or a knockoff Fendi purse assembly line you catch a surprising glimpse ...continue
no responses - Posted 10.13.15
Istanbul’s Aksaray neighborhood harbors an unfortunate reputation derived from its seedy nightclubs and the heavy presence of illegal brothels, which turn profits from sex trafficking. But as the city continues to transform at dizzying speeds, Aksaray’s status as an underbelly has begun to be overshadowed by that of a diverse, exciting ...continue
no responses - Posted 10.02.15
We like to think of İnciraltı, a laid-back meyhane in the sleepy Bosphorus-side Beylerbeyi neighborhood, as a destination restaurant – not so much because of the food, but because of the destination itself. Not that there’s anything wrong with the food here, which is reliably well made. The meze tray at ...continue