Food Glorious Food!

Trip Start Nov 05, 2008
Trip End Nov 25, 2008

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Flag of Turkey  , Antalya,
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ok, this entire blog entry is devoted to pictures of food (and food places) with a little explanation.  For those of you who have requested such things - here ya go!
A word about 2 restaurants.  Allturca and 7 Mehmet.   Allaturca was the most upscale, quiet and empty restaurant we encountered.  This was in Goreme and we ate at alike 4:30 p.m. because we were tired and it felt like 9 p.m. The waitstaff was taken by surprise and scrambled to welcome us.  The food was very good.  
7 Mehmet was supposed to be a little walk from our hotel in Kaleici in Antalya.   We walked and walked and walked.  Got nervous. Asked directions - were told - yes, straight ahead, by the giant pyramid.   We walked we walked - past the water park, past the lovers in the square, past the apartment blocks.  Finally, ready to ditch it, we asked a cabbie where it was and he said, 3 more kilometers.   He gave us a ride to 7 Mehmet - a huge, fantastic, entirely Turkish restaurant where we had some of the best food we've had so far.
Breakfast (outside of Istanbul) is always the same.   One egg, tomotoes, cucumbers, a pat of butter, a thing of chocolate goo, some weird jam, feta chees slice and one other cheese slice.  
Oh and one more thing to explain -  Borek. This is my obsession. We first had it in Istanbul. It comes in many varieties and always exists in huge flat pans in the window of restaurants. You order some, they cut off a hunk and chop it up and put it on a plate.   The 2 pictured here are spinach borek and water (su) borek.  I love this stuff.
Oh and the last thing.  This is the land of bread.  You just can't escape it. With any meal, no matter what, they give you a loaf, I mean a whole loaf, of bread slice in a basket.
Ok, now for a little bit of reality check.  It would seem that Denis and are are having vastly different experiences when it comes to the cuisine of Turkey.  It ain't all that!  This is a very, very meat centric country.  Yes there are many vegetarian choices but generally in the starters category.  While sometimes interesting,  I find the flavor profile ( to borrow some lingua franca from Top Chef) is limited and frankly, flat.  All this is not to say that we have not had some good meals.  But we have been here for over two weeks now and I cant think of more than 5 dishes that I thought were good enough to write home about.   Basically, its lamb or chicken, grilled, sauteed or cooked in a clay pot served with rice, tomatoes and yogurt.  It would be an understatement to say that Denis and I have stayed away from the most upscale eateries but we have pampered ourselves from time to time with restaurant in the luxury range.  We had the pleasure of dining on the same food available almost everywhere but with good views and clean, white table cloths for triple the money. 
Denis has written about the ubiquitous lamb doner. It will be familiar to you as a gyro.  I have never in my life been brave enough to eat  sliced meat that has swirled around on a skewer all day before coming to Turkey.  And I still would not have done so if there was an alternative in some of the places we have visited.  In some neighborhoods of Antalya,  standing in one spot you could see 5 to 10 of these "elephant legs" spinning about in the kebab shops that line the streets.
I dont like being ungenerous but one should not come to Turkey for the food.  Its really just fine but you had better like LAMB alot and the fish is pricey and comes FRIED and that's that. 
The hardest part of traveling is BREAKFAST.  With out exception, breakfast all over Turkey has been the same. Everywhere.  Every morning.  Its charming at first  but sometime I just want oatmeal, or scrambled eggs not olives and cheese.  Oh BTW,  NO BACON...... EVER!   
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