Authentic Turkish Fare at Cafe Istanbul

07.29.2014 by: Natalie Lomont
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Before he opened Cafe Istanbul in the Dallas area, Erol Girgin owned an eatery called Mangal. You probably haven’t heard of it since the restaurant was located in Ankara, Turkey. But that’s a testament to the authenticity of the creations you’ll find at this popular, yet not overly crowded, spot in Inwood Village.

Every menu item is made in house, with the level of freshness apparent through vivid colors, bold flavors, and enticing presentations. Find the favorites you might assume to see like hummus, kebobs, and baklava, but get excited about unique offerings. For instance, Sigara Boregi is a homemade, deep-fried phyllo pastry filled with Turkish feta cheese and parsley, or sautéed ground beef, onion, and parsley mix. Order Hunkar Begendi and you’ll feast on your choice of meat served on a bed of traditional roasted eggplant puree cooked with milk and mozzarella cheese, flavored with Turkish spices, and topped with a rich tomato butter sauce.

Here’s a delicious look at our selections during a recent dinner visit.

Complimentary lavash to begin your meal.

Sucuk Izgara/Turkish Sausage: spicy beef sausages grilled to perfection and served with tomatoes and peppers.

Meze Tabagi/Appetizer Sampler: your choice of four appetizers.

{Photo courtesy of Cafe Istanbul's Facebook Page}

Chicken Shish Kebob: tender cubes of marinated chicken, skewered and charbroiled. Served with rice pilaf, grilled tomatoes and peppers.

{Photo courtesy of Cafe Istanbul's Facebook Page}

Tavuk Beyti/Chicken Beyti: seasoned ground chicken breast skewered and charbroiled, then wrapped in tortilla and topped with garlic yogurt and tomato butter sauce. Served with grilled tomatoes and peppers.

Acili Kebap/Spicy Kebob: marinated, charcoal grilled lamb cubes served on a bed of sauteed jalapenos, diced tomatoes, and garlic mix. Served with rice pilaf.

One section of the menu is dedicated to the Turkish version of pizza, Lahmacun. Homemade crust topped with seasoned beef, lamb, cheese, veggies, or all of the above, this is an approachable dish for hesitant patrons that still allows for the exploration of Turkish flavor.

With a moderately priced dinner menu, Cafe Istanbul is a great place to enjoy a special evening without breaking the bank. The character and exotic flavors combine, transporting diners to a different place. Belly dancers add to the ambiance on Friday and Saturday, making it a lively spot for birthdays or visitors.

Both locations open daily at 11:00 am and offer plentiful lunch specials for $12.95 and under. Dinner is served nightly, with the kitchen open until midnight on Friday and Saturday. At the Plano location, the bar is open until 1:00 am on Friday and Saturday. While happy hour is offered Sunday through Thursday, ladies should save their visits for Monday night, when they’ll receive 20% off everything!

Cafe Istanbul {Official Website}

TAGS : Park Cities , Plano , Cafe Istanbul - Plano