Saturday, August 26, 2017

"It's Istanbul, not Constantinople......."

I remember the ditty about what was once called Constantinople, that is now known as Istanbul.

It must have been a geography lesson in high school. so that would have been in 1953 - 1957.

The "Queen of Cities," as it was known during the middle ages, was the capital of the Byzantine Empire until it fell in 1453, and then the Ottoman Empire until 1930.

That's when the name was changed by the Turkish National Reforms.

Google or Bing told me all this. It was NOT from my 1950s memory.

I did know I liked strong Turkish coffee.

After my haircut at Great Clips near Tanger outlets, I stopped in to check out a new restaurant that had just opened.

The hostess Nicole greeted me at the door and gave me a tour, telling me all about the new buffet offerings.

I asked how long had it been open and she said: "Seventeen days and tomorrow will be my first day off!" 

Nicole was smiling so I knew she was related and not just an employee.

I mentioned I had enjoyed Turkish foods while vacationing overseas,

Especially kabobs.

She asked if I preferred chicken or lamb I said both so I watched the chef fanning two kabobs being cooked over a charcoal fire.

My meal was coming together.

The shawarma was being shaved off both the chicken and the lamb/beef combo as they slowly turned on vertical spits

I saw the fresh pita bread next to the familiar hummus and the roasted eggplant dip.

Aha..Baba Ghanoush.

Nicole oversaw the construction of my buffet meal.

I tasted the Falafel and several variations of eggplant.

The several round tasty balls of falafel were what I thought might be Middle Eastern hush puppies.

Turned out to be crunchy, spicy rolled up chickpeas.

So they were added to my plate with pita bread, along with the hummus and Baba Ghonoush

As I started eating, more customers came in and one couple asked about the sushi?

Nicole explained there was no sushi and agreed that, yes, the sign with "Shish" did sort of look like sushi and she seated them and started pointing out various items on the menu.

I was shown two types of Turkish coffee. I picked one and Nicole said she would start getting it ready.

Like most foods and beverages, it needed to be fresh and hot.

I added "and strong," served in a demitasse cup.

She brought a cup and poured the thick, dark coffee and advised me to wait a bit before drinking it.

"It is hot of course, but it's unfiltered so give it a few moments to let the grounds settle."

I waited and sipped the strong flavored coffee, pretty sure this was not on the menu at Starbucks.

The meal break just happened when I noticed the restaurant newcomer. It was a pleasant meal experience and I am sure I'll stop by again.

Leaving, I looked closely at the sign. I didn't think it said Sushi at all.

*I added a photo that shows more of my buffet meal.

Man does not live on pita alone.

(Click on the images and links for more details.)

Actually, I was in the area again a few days later and stopped by.

This time I tried the Turkish coffee with the green label.

After it cooled and I sipped I realized that GREEN is the worldwide symbol for decaffeinated coffee.


It lacked the "punch" of the other cup I had had on my earlier visit.

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At Sun Aug 27, 07:29:00 PM , Blogger Rick said...

Sounds like an adventure. How was the coffee after all?

At Sun Aug 27, 08:21:00 PM , Blogger chuckography said...

Hot and strong. Nicole warned me to stop when I got to the grounds. I did. Haha


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