Not surprisingly, we being foodies typically surround ourselves with like minded friends. Our circles are not posh food snobs but people who appreciate quality food at an affordable price. Our tastes don’t surround foie gras and truffle oil but new and sparkling tastes in a comfortable environment. Many of our adult friends are willing to take food explorations with us but few include their four children in the process. We knew a couple of attributes about the amazing children of our wonderful friends Rebecca and Orion. For example, on the day that their only daughter was baptised, we as her newly instated Godparents were invited to lunch with them. The quirky Falafel Place in Winnipeg was selected where the Ifland brood supped upon baba gnoush, hummus and falafel. On this day, we stayed in the realm of Middle Eastern dining when we arrived at Café Turko in Freemont.
I was enraptured by the splendid colours of the décor and the crafts imported from Turkey. The locale was originally a Turkish rug shop and a few remained on display along with pashminas, lanterns, pottery and jewelry. I would have loved to have purchased a number of gorgeous little ceramic bowls but knew that my air journey wouldn’t necessarily accommodate my passion for little bowls.
Consistent with the lavish colours of the shop was the food itself. I had been struck by the colourful spices even before I had walked in the door and then more so once inside.
Warm pita and rainbow hummus started us all off including the enthusiastic kids. I would have liked to believe that the hummus was made of rainbows but in fact it was a quartet of beet, yam, spinach and traditional hummus. We were struck with our adventurous foodie back home, the Wee One who loves hummus and plain Balkan yoghurt so much that she has concocted her own words to request “hummy” and dodurt”.
Each of the kids had their own favourite, our Goddaughter the beet one because she loves everything pink! I found her a card in her neighbourhood which I purchased for her declaring”Yes I even dream in pink”. The 2nd eldest son focused in on the spinach, which prompted this Mom to recount the story of Popeye and the eldest, the yam. Or perhaps not, the eldest is simply the most laid back, accommodating child that we have ever come to love. I might just have imagined that he loved the yam just because it was the one left.
Two Doner Kebap Pockets were ordered. The homemade tomato sauce, grilled eggplant and yoghurt sauce and crumbled feta cheese were appreciated by both D and Rebecca.
Orion recommended that I try the same dish as him-the Ali Nazik. Spicy chicken was char-grilled and then served upon the same grilled eggplant and yoghurt sauce along with Turkish rice pilaf enhanced with chickpeas and fascinating Turkish spices. “Ali Nazik” means “made with gentle hands”. Chef Sureyya is at the helm of the exposed kitchen so it must have been her gentle hands that made our dishes so memorable.
Rebecca purchased a to go treat of Sureyya’s “No Guilt” Baklawa stuffed with walnuts and pistachios and Kataif with Turkish Pistachios. We had these as a late afternoon snack with the family. What a wonderful day.
Kath’s quote (found while searching for quotations about Turkish food): “How to thaw a frozen turkey: “Blow in it’s ear.”-Johnny Carson
Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.