Istanbul Restaurants: Tom's Favorites

Comments and recommendations for Istanbul restaurants

Moderator: sinan

Rauf
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:14 pm
How many stars? **: 0
Location: Istanbul

Re: No Wendy's Yet?

Post by Rauf » Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:08 pm

turkeytom wrote:I haven't seen a Wendy's yet, but if McDonald's, Burger King and Pizza Hut are there, can Wendy's be far behind?

Although they're OK to patronize occasionally at home, I wouldn't be caught dead in one of these places in Turkey, a country with simply marvelous local cuisine. Why eat a knock-off American hamburger when you can have authentic Iskender kebap?

http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/Trav ... Kebap.html

Now Starbucks (there's one open on Istiklal Caddesi in Istanbul)--that's another matter....

Tom Brosnahan
What do you advice at starbucks?
We don't have it in the Netherlands But I have seen it in a few places in Istanbul (metro city & Istriklal Cad.)
Never bothered to check it out tho.


turkeytom
Site Admin
Posts: 1527
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 6:20 pm
How many stars? **: 0
Location: Boston & Istanbul
Contact:

Starbucks

Post by turkeytom » Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:22 pm

Actually, I answered the wrong message before....

Thanks for the report on Kasibeyaz in Florya. It's a bit out of the way for most visitors, but probably fairly easily reachable by banliyö train from Sirkeci Station, eh?

Starbucks serves coffee. In the USA they're famous for complicated coffee-based beverages with elaborate nomenclature (a typically American thing).

By contrast, I'm a purist. I like things simple, straightforward and high quality. Starbucks is the sort of place where I'd expect the actual coffee to be low quality because it's only the base for drinks into which other flavors and preparations are added. But--surprisingly--Starbucks' coffee (plain) is very good. It's a dark roast, brewed fairly strong (unusual for American coffee, which is usually medium brown roast, brewed weak).

I'm just about the only person who walks into a Starbucks and orders a small, plain cup of coffee, no milk, no sugar, no nothing. Just coffee.

I'm glad Starbucks is in Turkey because my experiences with coffee in Turkey are usually disappointing (with the exception of Turkish coffee, which I like).

In my experience, if you order anything except Turkish coffee in Turkey, you get bad coffee, even in expensive hotels. The beans are often burnt (way too dark), and I have the feeling that too often it includes some cavcav (cavcav is coffee brewed from previously-used grounds, so what you get is weak, bitter, dead-tasting).

As each cup of Starbucks coffee is made fresh, this shouldn't be a problem.

Tom Brosnahan

Rauf
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:14 pm
How many stars? **: 0
Location: Istanbul

Post by Rauf » Sat Jul 31, 2004 12:58 am

Btw
The mezes at Kasibeyaz are probably the best you can get in Istanbul.
just make sure you have enough room left for the main course and (ofcourse) Künefe
(I would advice ordering one künefe for 2.

turkeytom
Site Admin
Posts: 1527
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 6:20 pm
How many stars? **: 0
Location: Boston & Istanbul
Contact:

Ah, Künefe!

Post by turkeytom » Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:50 am

Ah, künefe! I wrote up my first künefe experience (which took place, appropriately, in Antakya) in Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea, now on sale in Istanbul:

http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/BrightSun/index.html

Tom Brosnahan

mbd26
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:34 pm
How many stars? **: 0
Location: Istanbul
Contact:

Körfez

Post by mbd26 » Tue Sep 07, 2004 4:14 pm

I have been fortunate enough to dine at Körfez (mentioned earlier in this thread). I was there in Feb or March of 2004. It is really lovely, in Beykoz, but difficult to find if you do not have the exact address, as there is only a little plaque announcing its presence. I ordered the fish baked in salt, which was served with a divine butter sauce. My wife had a steak. Marvelous view, quiet but attentive service. I made the mistake of starting with a scotch, which I think cost as much as my fish... rakı next time! They still offer boat service from the Euro side. 8)
-mbd26 on the Asian side

Rauf
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:14 pm
How many stars? **: 0
Location: Istanbul

Post by Rauf » Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:38 pm

i can also recommend the fish in "anadolu kavaklari"

if you are on the european side it will probably take you about 2 hours to get there by car/taxi
if you are in kadikoy maybe 1.5 hours.
depends on traffic tho.

the fish is the best i ever had.
if it's warm you can sit next to the sea and have a nice view.

in my opinion it's worth the drive.

turkeytom
Site Admin
Posts: 1527
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 6:20 pm
How many stars? **: 0
Location: Boston & Istanbul
Contact:

Anadolu Kavagi

Post by turkeytom » Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:50 pm

This is the last village to the north on the eastern shore of the Bosphorus. Some of the touristic ferryboat runs from Istanbul stop here--indeed, it's their turnaround point--but you may end up staying up to three hours if you plan to return by ferry.

It's a long way to go for a meal, but the intrepid will love it.

Tom Brosnahan

Rauf
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:14 pm
How many stars? **: 0
Location: Istanbul

Re: Starbucks

Post by Rauf » Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:52 am

turkeytom wrote:Actually, I answered the wrong message before....

Thanks for the report on Kasibeyaz in Florya. It's a bit out of the way for most visitors, but probably fairly easily reachable by banliyö train from Sirkeci Station, eh?

Starbucks serves coffee. In the USA they're famous for complicated coffee-based beverages with elaborate nomenclature (a typically American thing).

By contrast, I'm a purist. I like things simple, straightforward and high quality. Starbucks is the sort of place where I'd expect the actual coffee to be low quality because it's only the base for drinks into which other flavors and preparations are added. But--surprisingly--Starbucks' coffee (plain) is very good. It's a dark roast, brewed fairly strong (unusual for American coffee, which is usually medium brown roast, brewed weak).

I'm just about the only person who walks into a Starbucks and orders a small, plain cup of coffee, no milk, no sugar, no nothing. Just coffee.

I'm glad Starbucks is in Turkey because my experiences with coffee in Turkey are usually disappointing (with the exception of Turkish coffee, which I like).

In my experience, if you order anything except Turkish coffee in Turkey, you get bad coffee, even in expensive hotels. The beans are often burnt (way too dark), and I have the feeling that too often it includes some cavcav (cavcav is coffee brewed from previously-used grounds, so what you get is weak, bitter, dead-tasting).

As each cup of Starbucks coffee is made fresh, this shouldn't be a problem.

Tom Brosnahan
fyi:
Starbucks should now have Turkish coffee in every starbucks all around the world.

source: http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=5478

Kees
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:56 am

Post by Kees » Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:11 pm

I think it is really funny that there are always Americans asking if there are any McDonalds, KFC, Pizzahut restaurants in foreign countries!!! Just try the local food!!! It is much better than that fatty stuff from the USA. These posts only consolidate the image people have of Americans. Don't get me wrong: I lived in the States for 5 years and I just love the country and the people are very nice, but sometimes these kind of things irritate me...

peynirkafasi
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:50 am
How many stars? **: 0
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

American Food

Post by peynirkafasi » Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:40 pm

I understand how frustrating it is to be an American who has been raised on Kraft Mac and Cheese, Velveeta, and Oreos. We do have a love/hate relationship with our crappy food.

I often find myself drawn, for better or for worse to all that is processed and partially-hydrogenated - feeling simultaneously ashamed, but not ashamed enough to give up Doritos. That's part of our strange American cultural heritage - that comfort food often comes in a box or styrofoam (now foil or wax paper) package and has an alarmingly long shelf life.

The wonderfully liberating thing about Turkey was the absence of these insidious favorites. Wonderful, fresh bread daily, vegetables and fruit in season (even those little unripe green plums were good!). If one strives to eat Turkish, I have no doubt you're on your way to clearing the toxins from your body and a healthy life.

On the other hand, I had my favorite things that closely resembled the American mainstays -especially when I was homesick for a little something self-destructive. A couple of them are below, but there are adequate venues in Istanbul for transgression.
__________________________

For raw carbs, nothing beats biscuits (biskuvi)... those little cookies in a sleeve you can get from any bakkal (corner store) and at the kiosk - I still have philosophical problems with going to the big grocery store (Migros), but that's me being a snob. My wife likes the chocolate cookies, but I'm a big fan of Yulafli (Oatmeal cookie-like things).

At a bunch of cafe's there's a thing called "Tost" which is bread and cheese. I'm from Wisconsin, nuff said, and nothing says Wisconsin like a little chesse samich. This stuff is usually straight up bread and cheese (not the feta, the other mild, less salty kind). Often it can be ordered with Turkish "Sucuk" added, a little sausage.


Post Reply