Sunday, October 3, 2010

Let's Talk Turkey (and not the kind you find at Thanksgiving)

Hello Fellow Foodies,

I know it's been a while since you've heard from me, and for that I apologize. September was a crazy busy month for me and it just seemed to fly by. I can't believe it is already the beginning of October.

I wanted to share with you one of my most recent food finds and that is Anatolia's in Boca Raton. They're located on Federal Highway, just south of Palmetto Park Rd. I've passed by it a gazillion times and finally made a point to go in and give them a try. Boy was a glad I did! They serve up some terrific authentic Mediterranean/Turkish food-some of the best that I have ever tasted. The owners, Nuran and Nadir were very gracious, as were their attentive staff.
To begin my culinary journey, Nuran suggested I try the Ahtapot (grilled octopus). I'm sure I just stood there looking at her with this blank stare, trying to figure out how to graciously tell her that I didn't especially care for the sound of it, without offending her. I had tried octopus once at a sushi restaurant many years ago and my experience with it was that it was a bit "rubbery". But Nuran assured me this was quite tender and succulent and that I at least had to try it. Never one to shy away from tying something new (especially when it comes to food), I agreed. Shortly thereafter, a plate of grilled octopus was delivered to my table and what a presentation it made! The octopus was indeed tender and very succulent. The marinade of tomatoes, onions, lemon pomegranate sauce & evoo was just the right balance of tart and sweetness. Nuran suggested I take a piece of bread and "mop up" the juices. I willingly obliged. Wow, this was clearly an unexpected delight as well as a wonderful start to a great meal!
Next up was a beautifully plated Cold Meze Medley of hummus, Babaghanush, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Eggplant Salad and Fire Roasted Peppers with Feta. I appreciated the basket of assorted pita and fresh baked breads which I used as the vessel for transporting these wonderful bites to my mouth and into my very happy belly!

For the entrees, I had the Hunkar Begendi (Hoonkar Bay end e) with Grilled Chicken Cubes. Nuran has promised to give me the phoenetic pronounciations for many of these hard to pronounce Turkish words that are found throughout Anatolia's menu. I figured this would be a great way to learn a little Turkish and have fun with it when ordering from their menu. This was an amazing dish that consisted of Fire Roasted Eggplant Puree with imported Kashar Cheese and topped with Grilled Chicken cubes. Again, the presentation of the plate was beautiful. The chicken was grilled to perfection and perfectly seasoned; but the star of this plate, in my opinion, was the Hunkar Begendi (eggplant puree). I never had anything like it. The puree resembled a bed of whipped or mashed potatoes which nearly covered the entire plate. I thought there is no way that I am going to be able to eat all this when they set the plate down before me. HA! was I ever wrong. I cleaned that plate-not a drop left over! Now I happen to enjoy eggplant, and for all of you who enjoy it too, you must give this dish a try. The texture is so airy and light and the Turkish Kashar cheese gives it such a unique flavor and elevates it, in my opinion, to the next level. Yummo!

My dining companion ordered the Dana Kul Basti (Duna Kewl Busta), which is grilled beef, pounded very thin and served in strips over Bulgur and Rice, along with a roasted Tomato & Pepper Onion Sumac (purple spice that has a natural tanginess). The beef was seasoned very nicely with fresh herbs and the plate was simply delicious.

Finally, we shared the Almond Pudding and Baklava. The pudding not only looked very pretty with slices of almonds and pistachios sprinkled on top, but it tasted amazing! You'd be hard pressed to find a better baklava, that is for sure. So there you have it, my latest Boca Food Find. I hope you will head over there and try it out for yourself. They're open for lunch and dinner, 7 days a week. There is something for everyone on the menu. I heard their latest creation, the Burger Kebab, is getting rave reviews.

Anatolia Mediterranean Restaurant is located at 212 S. Federal Highway, Boca Raton


You can find them on facebook:

Until we eat again..
I send you delicious wishes, XO


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