The Best Meal

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The fact that Jeff’s conference was at an all-inclusive resort was both good and bad.  The great thing was that we didn’t spend money on anything, in terms of our stay in Turkey.  Every meal and drink was pre-paid, and it was a huge relief not to have to hunt for meals.  On the other hand, one of my favorite things about travel is eating new foods.  And Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food is my absolute favorite. So I know I would have enjoyed eating out immensely.  The food at our resort was not that great, but we still appreciated the amount of money it saved us, and they did have an extensive salad bar of fresh herbs, olives, cheeses, etc.  Once I had eaten a few weird buffet meals, I realized that having a couple freshly cooked whole saltwater fish like mackerel (something I would never make at home for the family, but that I love) and a big herbal salad was the way to go for me for lunch and dinner.

I am almost embarrassed to tell you that we only ate one real Turkish meal.  But the truth is that all of the restaurants in Kiris were closed because it is the quietest time of the year, tourism-wise.  When we spent the last day of our trip in Antalya, we were determined to go have a nice, big lunch.  And we did!  Jeff had done a little research about where locals (not tourists!) eat in Antalya.  I have spent so many hours looking for some place that Jeff found in a guide book or online, and being disappointed because it was really out of our way, closed, or lame, that I kind of balked at the idea of going there.  But it turned out that when it was time for lunch, we were just a block away from the place he had found!  Perfect!  I am so glad, because it was really cool– and there were no tourists there.  What this restaurant is well-known for is their spit-roasted chicken, which was also the day’s special.  We ordered that, plus a mixed vegetable dish and lamb kebap.  And they insisted on bringing Amelia some fries.
First, they brought us a big basket of fresh bread.  Unfortunately, we do not eat bread!  My husband and daughter have gluten allergies, so we all just avoid it (I feel better without, as well.)  Then they brought a huge chunk of butter (something we NEVER avoid) with some seriously delicious smelling grilled bread.  It was almost too much to bear, especially since we sat there with that aromatic toasty bread for at least 20 minutes before the rest of the meal arrived!  But it was SO worth the wait.

Even though we didn’t eat the bread, I was still glad they brought the butter. It had a rich, cheesy flavor– so delicious with the roasted chicken!

This was SO good.  There were layers of grilled eggplant, potato and zucchini, all covered in a super-fresh tomato sauce.  Really delicious.
Lamp Kebap.


We really should have ordered more food than we did, just to try it.  But we were really satisfied, and just thrilled to finally have an excellent Turkish meal.  We heard that there is a good Turkish restaurant in Cambridge, so we will definitely be heading over there, inevitably to lament the fact that it’s not as good as this meal was, kicking ourselves for not staying in Antalya long enough for dinner.

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5 Responses to The Best Meal

  1. greatdanasworkshop February 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Oh wow, that food looks so yummy. I’ll take it all!

  2. Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport February 11, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Looks Amazing! There is just something about eating food in it’s proper country of origin. 🙂 There is a turkish restaurant in my U.S. city that is AMAZING! But your meal beats it I am sure.

    • Ariana February 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

      Most of my exposure to Turkish food was Doner Kebap places in Germany, which was totally different from a sit-down restaurant like this. It was super, super good. I don’t have a whole lot of faith in a British place to get it right!

  3. Elie February 22, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    Love food porn! They must have been expecting a lot of chicken eaters that day!

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