Here is my favorite restaurant for lunch in Istanbul.
Cağ Kebabı (reads: Jar Kebab) is a skewered, grilled lamb. Döner kebab is the most common around the world, which is a stuck of beef and veggies vertically rotating in front of electric roaster and shave the grilled outside. They say cağ Kebabı is the ancient version of döner kebab, the difference is; no veggies but only marinated lamb meat, and the roaster is rotating horizontally in front of the firewood oven.
This restaurant is very busy at lunch time with tourists around the world as well as locals. I even saw Japanese guidebook "Glove Trotters 地球の歩き方" introduced here. Then, when you guided to your seat, the menu will be handed over and it's like this. Quite simple, isn't it?
Cağ Kebabı is the only choice of main dish, accompanied with yogurt, salad, Ezme (spicy salsa) or soup. I always ask Cağ Kebabı with yogurt and spicy sauce which made with paprika, chili pepper, cilantro and onions.
All came together like this...
Thin, crape like bread comes with kebab.
Under the crape, there are two skewers of marinated and grilled lamb.
This grilled lamb itself is very tasty. But when I saw locals, they hand break the crape-bread and cover the meat, then pull off from the skewer.
I did a different approach. Inspired by Mexican cooking: Burrito.
I used the entire piece of crape, lined up the lamb meat, yogurt, spicy sauce and cilantro and onions, then wrap this up like a burrito. There are two skewers and two crapes, hence I can construct two huge burritos and enjoyed the complicated but exquisite tastes of meat, veggies, yogurt and the wheat crape. The Turkish yogurt is very thick and strong, known in the State as Greek Yogurt. Well, the person who introduced Greek yogurt in the States was Turkish. (LOL) Then the yogurt works like nonfat sour cream which harmonize individual flavors.
I think because I order a 'perfect and complete set' every time, they serve me a complementary Turkish tea.
I confess I always ask Coca-Cola or Coke-Zero with Cağ Kebabı set. Nevertheless, a cup of hot tea is a perfect finish for this tasty and exotic lunch.
...and this lunch time, very famous owner chef was off, and the second chef? was taking care of the grill.
He gave me a nice smile to my camera. As a mustache fetish, I DO like his thick and traditional shaped mustache very much. ☺
In modern America, is a kebab an ordinary dish, including a stick(?) with tiny parts of flesh of animal or seafood, in addition to edible part of plants like onions, tomatoes, and flavorings?
Besides being recognized as shish kebab, kebab is ordinarily arranged in households and in business establishments serving food and drink, and is commonly served on a hot plate, right?
To be honest, I don’t know the difference between ‘kebab’ and other similar-looking foods cooked on a stick like ‘satay’ , ‘yakitori’ or something like that.
However, thank you for telling me a special local cuisine!