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Posts Tagged ‘ Sultanahmet ’

Jul 22

More Sultanahmet Dining Secrets

Filed under Reviews (Eats)

(Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by “Meliz,” an intrepid explorer of Sultanahmet’s culinary backstreets who would like to keep her anonymity.)

The neighborhood around Sultanahmet and the Grand Bazaar introduces an interesting plot twist into the slow-cooked Choose Your Own Adventure that is the esnaf lokantası experience. As described on this website, an esnaf lokantası is the Turkish workingman’s lunch spot, to be found in every hard-working neighborhood, nationwide.

Despite being the city’s touristic ground zero and a neighborhood not often associated with much of anything authentic, I am here to insist: Sultanahmet IS still an esnaf (workingman’s) sort of place. There are hordes of starving tourists, to be sure, but there are just as many hungry shop guys, carpet-menders, hotel managers, printers, bookbinders, lawyers, cops, dentists and diverse and assorted clerical types – all of whom, occasionally, cannot face another tost or döner sandwich, and need a real lokanta lunch. At the same time, Turkish men are oftentimes as finicky as Goldilocks when it comes to the lokanta’s slow-cooked food: if a dish is too oily or too watery, too spicy or too bland, too runny or too lumpy, the waiter will hear about it, as will everyone at the table. The true esnaf will not just eat lokanta fare at any old place.

So, where do the workingmen of Sultanahmet all go? Below are two options: Continue…

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