Turkey via Ft. Greene, Brooklyn: The Country Makes A House Call
LAURA: Let’s talk Turkey. You know a country that shares its name with a delicious game bird is going to deliver on the yum tip. Speaking of delivering, SeamlessWeb hooked us up with a meal that was brought straight to our doorstep from Deniz Restaurant in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. They serve some of our favorite food: the kind that caters to lazy asses.
ADAM: We started with a dish of rolled phyllo dough stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. It’s called Sigara Boregi, aka “cigar” Boregi—so named for the way the dish gives you lung cancer. Or possibly just for the way it looks like a cigar. Stuffed pastries are an ancient and popular part of Turkish cuisine. Our Sigara Boregi were a little light on the stuffing and heavy on the pastry, but it’s hard to complain too loudly about any problem that centers around having too much fried dough.
LAURA: We ate more stuffed dough in the form of manti, or steamed Turkish dumplings. Ours were filled with lamb and onions and swam in a sea of garlic yogurt, which I thought was a bit too heavy on the oil and Adam thought was a bit too heavy on the meh. But they can’t be that bad since they’ve been around since the 13th century. When migrating Turks crossed Asia on horseback, they carried frozen or dried manti with them and boiled them over a campfire. Much like today, when a delivery man on a bicycle carried them across Flatbush Avenue.
ADAM: Next up was an Adana Kebab, a long sheath of minced lamb meat, tail fat and red bell peppers, which, when cooked up, looks disturbingly turd-like. Thankfully, it tastes significantly better than a turd. (Although in fairness, I’ve never actually tasted a turd, so I could possibly be underestimating it.) Anyway, to create the kebab, the minced meat is molded around a large metal skewer and then cooked over hot coals. This harkens back to the way kebabs were reputedly invented—Persian soldiers would used their swords to grill meat over open fires. To serve an Adana Kebab, the molded meat is slid off the skewer like a used condom. Scrumptious.
LAURA: The kebabs came with pide, a flat bread that was as big as a frisbee and unfortunately, just as difficult to bite into. Turks are pretty gung-ho about their bread. Back when the country was part of the Ottoman Empire, bakers believed that Adam (first guy on Earth, not the guy writing this) learned how to make bread from the Archangel Gabriel after he was booted from the Garden of Eden. What a silver lining! At any rate, Turks take such pride in their baking that the region Anatolia is known as the “Breadbasket of the World,” edging out Ukraine’s paltry “Breadbasket of Europe” nickname. Poor Ukraine. Now all it has going for it is meat jell-o.
ADAM: For dessert, we tore into some Kunefe, a pastry made of super-fine threads of dough and a cheesy-middle. The bready threads are made by drizzling a super-thin stream of batter onto a turning hotplate, then gathering the strands together so they resemble a pancake of shredded wheat. It all had a lightly sweet, honey-tinged taste that was surprisingly satisfying. It was only after the meal that we realized we should have taken the food into our living room, where we could have eaten Ottoman on our Ottoman. What fools! But it was a great meal anyway. Thanks for the free grub SeamlessWeb!
662 Fulton Street (Fort Greene, Brooklyn)