Sunday, August 29, 2010

Meeting The Old Guy on the Block - Turkish Meze

I love eating at and reviewing as many of the new restaurants opening in my neighborhood as I possibly can. This is evidenced in my "New Kid on the Block" posts. But what about restaurants that have always been here? Are there places that are "new kids" to me that are old timers to everyone else?

Eight years ago Turkish Meze opened. Although the menu looked decent and the lunch special looked like an incredible deal, I never went. It's an easy restaurant to forget about because it's not quite on the main drag. I just wouldn't always think to go there because I would forget about its existence. Occasionally I would suggest going there to Sir Pickypants would would turn up his nose saying that Middle Eastern food is "all lamb" and there wouldn't be anything for him to eat. Turkish Meze sat there for 8 long years before we ever set foot in it.

Things changed a mere 3 weeks ago. My building had a block party. One of the items in the buffet was a spicy bulgar salad with tomatoes. SPP could not get enough of it. We even scooped up a plateful and took it back to our apartment with us. One of our neighbors informed us that it came from his restaurant. When we asked what restaurant he said, "Turkish Meze." I felt really bad this point because the owner was a neighbor and a really nice guy, and clearly his restaurant had some good food. We decided to go there the following weekend.

When we went the first time, I neglected my camera, so I didn't review it right away. However, we had such a great meal that we went back the very next weekend. This time I brought a camera and I was ready to show this place off to the world.

There is all kind of Turkey-related artwork on the walls with the booths covered in a colorful fabric.

I love how the tables are set with four mismatched plates. They are such pretty plates too. We flipped them over and saw that they came from Pier 1. If I want a set of my own, I don't have to order them specially from Turkey.

On to the appetizers. Kevin still loves his bulgar salad, which we now know is called Kasir. We both love Ezme, a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, hot peppers, and pomegranate juice. This is served with the most delicious pita bread you ever tasted. When they bring it to your table, you can smell the butter. Since I don't eat much bread anymore, it doesn't really agree with me, but it's worth it!

I wanted to get a photo of the wine in here, but couldn't quite fit it in. Turkish wine is pretty good. The white is very dry and refreshing.

Next up were our entrees. I have a chicken breast stuffed with rice, currants, and pistachios served with spinach and fancily-piped mashed potatoes. The saffron sauce was scrumptious.

Kevin had a chicken curry. This curry is lighter than Indian curries as there are no tomatoes, onions or cream that you might find in a curry dish in an Indian restaurant. The sauce was light and heavily seasoned with cumin.

On our previous visit I had lovely roasted lamb on eggplant puree while Kevin enjoyed a whole branzino.

Finally dessert. Bekir, our host and neighbor was kind and comped us. Kevin had Tel Kadayif, which is shredded phyllo with pistachios, honey, and lemon syrup (similar to baklava). I had almond pudding. It just may be the most delicious pudding I have ever had (and that's saying a lot for me to call any dessert the most delicious X I ever had and it's not chocolate).

We love this place so much that we're really trying hard to make up for the past 8 years of not eating here. I'm wondering if it will offically become our new favorite local restaurant.


The Duo Dishes said...

We thought about doing Turkish food for our next exploration, so this is so awesome. Having never eaten the food, it's great to get a little behind the scenes knowledge. The ezme sounds particularly intriguing...

The Blonde Duck said...

That's wonderful! Isn't it great when you find little special places like that?

Sue said...

Ooh, I liked every single thing you ordered.

Maybe you can get Kevin to a whole bunch of places he's never gone before. Just remind him about how much Turkish food he's missed.

Emily said...

You should make Turkish almond pudding! I want some! Or I want a recipe to make some.

This place sounds fabulous! I want everything. The salad, chicken, and pita look great.