Monday, September 5, 2011

Five Star Dinner at Malatya Prices

Tonight I discovered Yelşin Cafe located in Herriat Park near to my apartment. The open-air cafe decorated with white linen table clothes and velvet purple table runners, illuminated with soft lighting, and surrounded by lush trees gave me both a perfect vantage point for people watching and a delicious meal. After my greeting of "merhaba" (hello) which immediately identifies me as a foreigner, the owner came out with the menu and welcomed me to the restaurant. When he figured out I don't read Turkish, he ushered me back to the kitchen and showed me what he was cooking. I chose a spicy kabob and then he enhanced the meal with some delicious surprises: lentil soup, a chili/gazpacho type side dish, a mixed green salad, and another meat paste (for lack of a better word), warm pide (puffed up pita bread hot out of the oven) and the main kabob plate with thinly sliced onions, grilled jalapeno peppers, and fresh tomatoes. The food was better than any meal I'd eaten in Istanbul (and I had some great ones there) and I made the effort to look up the word delicious "leziz" and tell the owner. We had a brief, yet pleasant conversation of broken English and Turkish. Even more surprising, the bill was a total of 13TL or about $7.41.

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