Saturday, January 24, 2015

Best neighbors ever (fav Turkish restaurants)

Hi loves! I was raised in a neighborhood where many Turkish immigrants live. I have even heard people jokingly call it little Istanbul. Well at least, that is before major gentrification happened to that part of the city. Unfortunately, many local shops have disappeared and made room for "hipper" alternatives, from Starbucks-esque coffeehouses to organic supermarkets. Also, the demographics and housing have changed a lot over the last 10 years, so I often do not recognize my neigborhood anymore whenever I walk around there.

One thing I obviously liked the most from growing up there was getting the opportunity to enjoy delicious Turkish cuisine on a regular! Every week I would walk up the stairs to find myself in the midst of the delicious smell of fresh flatbread the neighbors baked. Often I would be lucky enough to hear a knock on our door shortly after, because our neighbors have always been very eager to share. Bread stuffed with feta cheese or potatoes, or even lentil soup. Man, was I lucky to be raised in a neighborhood full of cultural diversity and lovely people.

One of my favorite places to eat Turkish cuisine at, was a restaurant named Birtat (see above). I pretty much always ordered their red bulgur or pilav with lamb, potatoes, and white beans. I always loved their grill specialities too, from shoarma to lam brack, although I am not sure whether you can count this under traditional Turkish cuisine. 

Now I live anywhere but near that restaurant, but fortunately my current neigborhood has a few alternatives to offer. One of them is called Mesken (see below). I have yet to find a restaurant that can beat Birtat in my books, but I think Mesken can put up a good fight. I really like their pilav and the chickenwings are very tasty too.

Aside from dinner, I often drop by local bakeries to pick up some pide with ground beef or börek with potatoes! One of my favorites is Kara Firin :)