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Turkish Learners Meetup Message Board › Rumi Forum Turkish Class: Regional, delicious and affordable: Üsküdar Pilavcı

Rumi Forum Turkish Class: Regional, delicious and affordable: Üsküdar Pilavcı

Kenan T.
user 69251342
Group Organizer
Fairfax, VA
Post #: 2
Regional, delicious and affordable: Üsküdar Pilavcı

February 12, 2014, Wednesday
The number of boutique home-cooked food restaurants in İstanbul is not really that many. The second branch of Üsküdar Pilavcı -- one of the places that offer such food -- has now opened in Bağlarbaşı, which is why we decided to go and try it out.

Never mind the “pilaf” mentioned in the name of this new restaurant, the moment we stepped inside, the aroma from the stews cooking inside hits your nose. So what can you find here? Let's start with special regional dishes: Bayburt and Amasya sarma, lor dolma, chard sarma, turnip dolma, okra with meat, hanımdudu stew, çökertme kebab, elbasan tava, Crimean kebab, Greek moussaka, keşkek, fried fresh beans, fried okra, Kayseri mantı and Albanian liver.

You can truly find flavors from all over Turkey here. What's more, we're not just talking about any flavors; the kitchen at this restaurant has really done justice to each dish. Also look for beans cooked in earthenware pots, rolled grape leaves, stuffed dried eggplant, stuffed squash, avcı kebab, Skopje köfte, stews with vegetables and chicken, dishes boasting lots of mushrooms, hünkar beğendi, Köroğlu köfte, watercress, leeks and spinach and the famous Topkapı chicken dish. Also look out for a series of delicious olive oil dishes, perfect to accompany rice pilafs.

Of course, with so many options, I wasn't able to try everything. For example, I did leave wondering what the “avcı” (hunter) soup tasted like. I swore to myself though that I'd head back at the first opportunity to find out.

This new Üsküdar Pilavcı opened just one week ago and its owners are Musa Sağır and Hakan Sağdıç. Able to accommodate 130 people at one time, this restaurant also boasts a generous garden area. You should note, before coming here, that the restaurant does not accept credit cards. This is the kind of place, however, that will let you drop by later and pay if you don't have money at the moment. Very brave!

One of the most famous dishes at Üsküdar Pilavcı is “maklube,” a Hatay regional pilaf dish made with chicken and eggplant. What is interesting about the maklube here is that you can order it made for just one, even though maklube is traditionally made for lots of people at one time, a favorite dish of crowded get-togethers.

Make some time here for the traditional kuru fasulye dish, made with dried white beans, as well. The Ispir beans used here boast more flavor because of the marrow used in the recipe. I also really liked the Konya-style okra. For a drink, try the delicious black mulberry juice here. Seeing more and more restaurants like this one --delicious, reasonably priced and offering home-cooked style dishes -- is a great plus for Turkish cuisine, I believe.

READ MORE at Learn and Study Turkish with classes and courses in Washington DC
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