Maybe I shouldn't try to critique the food in Turkey since I don't eat the majority of the most common foods - namely, "Kebaps." Being a vegetarian is a little difficult in Istanbul, but, as always, I did find some great things to eat and drink in restaurants, in dessert shops, and on the street.
Another spinach dish I had was something like Greek spanikopita - layers of spinach and filo dough.... baked with some crumbly cheese sprinkled in....
Yogurt is a main ingredient is many dishes and drinks. I had some wonderfully velvety yogurt soup that had a little rice in it. The fresh mint leaves gave the soup a nice fresh flavor.
The strangest-looking thing I had was a pillow of bread with yogurt-dill sauce. The "pillow" was essentially a large pita that was puffed up like a pillow. Dipped in the sauce, it was delicious.
This photo (to the left) shows one of my favorite street foods - on the pier these guys fry up fresh fish filets and put one in a long crusty bun with fresh greens and lemon juice. It's way better than a hoagie!
Corn on the cob is another staple of street food. The corn is yellow, but not sweet - more like Mexican corn (elote).
Another Mexican copy - churros..... sort of. I don't know what the Turks call them, but they look like a churro in a ring and they are soaked in honey. Yum.
Another amazing dessert is called profiterol - a mountain of creme puffs smothered in dark chocolate sauce. Katherine and I went to a dessert shop called Inci to try some. Inci is the oldest dessert shop in Istanbul and was the first one to create this sinfully delicious concoction!
Turkish beer is decent enough - there aren't micro-breweries like in the States, but their national brand, Efes is pretty good. I tried both the pilsner and the dark - I like the dark the best - creamy, a little bitter, but with a good, rich flavor.
çay. Tea is served in little glasses set into a little saucer with a little spoon on the side and two lumps of sugar. I always wanted to say, "One lump, or two?" every time I was served one of these Turkish teas. I'm not an avid tea-drinker other than herbal tea, so I can't really compare the Turkish tea to anything else. It's hot. It's bitter without sugar. It's tea!
What I loved more was the coffee - not all the coffee, and not even Turkish coffee (thick, sweetish mixture served in a tiny mug). No - I loved that I was able to get the kind of coffee that I love - Americano! This final photo was the most delicious cup of coffee I have had since I left the U.S.! Not that the beans were anything special.... I just miss that certain flavor. In Georgia all they have is instant coffee and Turkish coffee - not my favorites. But when this particular cup of coffee arrived at my table, I breathed in the hot, familiar scent, closed my eyes, and smiled! Then I snapped a photo before enjoying every single drop --- all the way down to the last one!