These days, writing about Istanbul’s old-school restaurants can be heartbreaking work. No sooner do we find out about a classic lunch spot than it turns out the place is about to be closed down to make way for yet another development project. Meanwhile, Istanbul’s relentless drive to modernize and “clean up” its streets has meant there is less and less room for traditional food vendors to operate. Continue »
Tag Results for 'grill'
Outside of Kristal Ocakbaşı, a small grill joint tucked away on a side street in the Pangaltı neighborhood, Obama sat greeting the regulars who streamed in to watch a soccer game while feasting on kebab. “What’s the news, Obama?” asked one man with shoulder-length white hair. “Selam aleykum, Obama,” said another. Continue »
We generally regard the Grand Bazaar as a place of punishment, a den of aggressive, wolf-like hustlers and innocent, lamb-like tourists wearing novelty fez hats. When we have to go, we like to think of ourselves as members of a prison SWAT team, sent in to search a cell for some specific item – Turkmen jewelry, hamam towels and, once, wedding rings. Continue »
Southeastern Turkey’s culinary mecca of Gaziantep is best known for its baklava and kebabs. But lately we’ve been thinking that it’s soup that may actually be the city’s real crowning glory. Not just any old soup, mind you, but beyran çorbası, a stupendously delicious lamb-based broth that is usually slurped down for breakfast in Gaziantep. Continue »
In 1922, reporting for the Toronto Daily Star from the borderlands of the Thrace region, Ernest Hemingway wrote of a “Silent, Ghastly Procession” of Christian refugees fleeing the advance of “the Turk.” The literature and art of the Christian Anatolians exiled in this period – from the films of Angelopoulos to the genre of Rembetiko music itself – is considerable and no doubt strengthens the identity of this diaspora today. Continue »
In Istanbul, if all you have is a street address for a restaurant, you are as good as lost. It’s all about proximity to landmarks, as in “postanedeki kokoreççi” (the kokoreç vendor near the post office) or “Süleymaniye’deki kuru fasulyeciler” (the bean eateries at Süleymaniye Mosque). This is the way we’ve learned to navigate this city and we’ve even found reason to tag some places according to our own associations. Continue »
In Barcelona, food markets are longtime culinary institutions beloved by both neighbors and chefs. Their intense sights, smells and sounds are a wonderful, chaotic amuse-bouche that stimulates our senses without our even opening our mouths to taste any of the products being sold. Continue »
One of the great joys of spring and summertime in Istanbul is the chance to get away for a day to one of the Princes’ Islands, the car-free and forested archipelago that is a short ferry ride away from the city. The only downside to an island hop is actually getting there. Continue »
In our imaginary primetime lineup, a reality show called “Pimp My Kebab Salon” transforms a drab kebab shop into a grill palace suited to the tastes of the latter-day sultans. Surfaces are suddenly gilded in gold, fountains appear and everything is reupholstered under the watchful eye of the boisterous host with tacky taste. If this TV series existed, a much-loved classic episode would take place at Hatay Has Kral Sofrası, a zany kebab restaurant in a part of the Aksaray district filled with lots of other establishments selling food from Southeast Turkey. Continue »
Editor’s note: This post wraps up our special series this week featuring our top street food picks in all of the Culinary Backstreets cities.
As rapidly as Istanbul marches toward its modern destiny, street food in this city is still served the old-fashioned way, by boisterous ustas with a good pitch and, sometimes, a really good product. Continue »