Sunday, February 26, 2017

Restaurant Review - Istanbul'lu (Somerville, MA)

We went to a Turkish restaurant, Istanbul'lu, in Somerville for lunch today. It's a small place right at the corner of busy Teele square, easy to miss while driving by. The restaurant has very good reviews, so we were expecting a big crowd and that we might have to stand in a queue for tables, but luckily we got our table within a few minutes.

They welcomed us with freshly baked bread and a red pepper dip. Their menu has a wide range of options from sandwiches, veggie dishes, egg dishes, hot & cold dishes to kebabs. Even though every item had a small description, there were lot of unfamiliar ingredients listed; our hostess patiently answered all of our questions.

For appetizer we ordered a plate of Turkish mornings (beyaz peynir, kasar peynir, Turkish olives, sucuk, pastirma, boiled eggs, imported honey, recel, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers) for the table; peynir is a kind of Turkish cheese. Specially wanted to mention that I really loved the honey, it was very fresh and tasty.

For main course we ordered - Menemen, Izmir Kofte, Adana Kebab and Lamb Kebab

Menemen (Turkish style omelet with tomatoes, onions,
red bell peppers, green peppers, cooked with beyaz peynir and spices)

Izmir Kofte (Kofte baked in the oven with peppers, onions, mushrooms,
eggplant, potatoes and carrots in tomato sauce and served with rice and yogurt)

Adana Kebab (Ground lamb mixed with onions, red bell pepper,
garlic and Turkish spices and served over rice with Coban salad)

Lamb Kebab (Cubed lean lamb meat marinated in our special regional sauce,
grilled and served with rice and grilled peppers and tomatoes)

We really liked the food. Everything was fresh and delicious. The kebabs & kofte had the perfect balance of flavors. Also liked the rice and salad that came with the dishes.

We wanted to have kunefe for dessert, but they were out of it. So instead we ordered the baklava and Turkish rice pudding. Though I did not like the rice pudding that much, but the Baklava was too good (just melted in my mouth)!

To finish off, we had Turkish tea and Turkish coffee; the tea was not that special but the coffee was good. We will definitely go back to Istanbul'lu.

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