Saturday, July 2, 2022

10 Years Ago: Istanbul: The Monogamous Diner

Go here for the original post in July 2012.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Istanbul: The Monogamous Diner

Sure, I was a restaurant slut when I first landed in Istanbul.

Every meal out I tried a new place, looking for the ideal blend of good food at a budget price with no hassles. The Turkish waiters wooed me into their lounges, promising to be my friend, to give me the best Istanbul had to offer, to give me good service. All lies. And every time I succumbed, I was betrayed. As soon as I sat down, they abandoned me, looking for new conquests.

I tried the inexpensive and generally-good bufes and their doners, but sitting on a low stool next to parked cars just didn't do it for me.    

I had to stop this promiscuous behavior and settle down.

And I found just the place, and it's only 20 steps from my hotel. Not the disappointing bistro that's attached to my hotel. No, my new place is the Trabzon Restaurant - a lokanta - that's down the alley between my hotel and the Cotton Box store.

Trabzon Restaurant, Sirkeci, Istanbul. July 2012.

It's not the kind of place you'll rave about after you get home. But the food is very good, sometimes exceptional (eggplant). It's like what you'd get at home, if you had a Turkish home, and your mom was a good cook. And the price is very reasonable. The folks there don't hassle you at all. They're friendly in a genuine way. It's quiet, too.

It's where I go to eat now.

Postscript: Two days after I made my commitment to this place, the owner brought out an immense guestbook for me to look at. The entries went back more than 20 years. There were drawings. Foreign currencies attached. Locks of hair, for God's sake! Business cards. Coolest guestbook I've ever seen.

So it looks like this place is kinda famous. I'm glad I lucked into it and had the good taste to recognize quality.  

A slideshow of some highlights, taken with the restaurant owner's permission:

Trabzon Restaurant, Istanbul

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