Bosphorous

108 S Park Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 644-8609 bosphorousrestaurant.com

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Considering my wife is Turkish and I visit Turkey for a few weeks at least once a year, I would say I’m a pretty good judge of Turkish cuisine. Therefore, by the power vested in me, I pronounce Bosphorus to be the real McCoy. One bite and you feel like you’re sitting in Istanbul enjoying mezes (appetizers) and sipping raki (anise Turkish booze). Everything is as authentic as it gets and once upon a time it was pretty damn good too. But ever since they opened a second location in Dr. Phillips, the food at both has slid downhill. Particularly at the Dr. Phillips location. So if you if you’re going, head to Winter Park instead.

That said, there are still a few things that remain strong, like the lavas (a giant puffy bread) with cacik (yogurt mixed with garlic and herbs), the lahmacun (ground lamb flat bread: pictured), the babaganoush and humus. The rest is sadly a shell of its former self, from the oily mucver (zucchini pancakes) to the flavorless okra dish to the adana kebabs that are not very adana (spicy).

But at least the staff is still very friendly, so if you need additional guidance, feel free to let them show you around the menu. Also, two things; I recommend going with three or more people so you can try lots of different things and second, don’t go if you are in a rush. Turks like to take their time and so should you. Besides, it’s not good to eat too fast. And yes, I am your mother.

3 teeth

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Beyoglu

1431 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10028 • (212) 650-0850
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This and Pasha are my two favorite Turkish restaurants in the city. Although as I write this, I’m thinking Beyoglu might have the edge. First, the decor is fun and lively and the service is friendly- which is par for the course at pretty much every Turkish restaurant in the city. And then the bread and cacik comes (cacik is the Turkish version of the yogurt/garlic/herb concoction you find in Greek and Indian cuisine as well)… But their cacik is out of this world. Fresh, homemade yogurt so thick and creamy it’s like eating it right out of the cow. That, coupled with their warm, fresh baked Ramadan-style bread, and you’ll be in heaven before the food even arrives.

As for the mezzes (appetizers) they are all excellent. The spinach pie, the octopus- even the entrees were both solid. The only things I wish they had are mucver, lahmacun and midye dolma. But it’s been a while since I’ve been there, so maybe they’ve added them. Guess I’ll have to go back and see.

4 teeth