Dave’s View: There are sometimes in life when you think things are going to be easy like parking at a restaurant on a Saturday evening. This food adventure started off badly because as we approached the restaurant, all the streets were lined with cars. No parking was in sight. It was Italian Fest in downtown Indianapolis. Droves of people were everywhere and we finally found a parking space in the Eli Lilly lot. We walked over a half mile to get to the restaurant and I was telling Andrea, “This better be worth it.” Let me tell you something. OH, IT WAS WORTH IT! This is one of the better meals I’ve had in a long time.
As we approached the restaurant a man wearing plaid shorts greets us and we enter what looks like a home. A very decorated home with carpets hanging off the wall that I assume are from Turkey. In between the hanging carpets are the typical travel posters of Turkey. Dated in the late 1970′s mind you, but it was eccentric. Things were even getting better when our waiter came out and he couldn’t understand English. This is a good sign for a restaurant if you’ve read my other posts.
We started the meal off with stuffed grape leaves. Now, I’ve grown wine grapes in the past and I’m thinking, “Yuck, who would eat grape leaves?” Grape leaves don’t look that appetizing, trust me. But when the plate came out with four of these tasty rolls, they were gone in seconds. They are rolled and steamed to perfection. The inside tasted like dill and were fantastic. Down this appetizer with some Turkish beer and you might be riding one of those carpets on the wall.
After dreaming about riding that carpet around in the restaurant, I had the main entrée and that was the Beyti Kebab. Now, I was thinking this was going to come out on a skewer. This one doesn’t. It looks like Italian Cantonlini, but far from it. This kebab had a nice blend of lamb and beef and was fantastic. Make that double fantastic! The vegetables and rice complemented the meal perfectly.
Now as the meal was coming to a close, that man I was talking about in the plaid shorts that greeted us at the door. He’s the owner and knows how to increase your restaurant bill, but in a good way. Just come out with some Raki. Raki is the national drink of Turkey. It’s distilled alcohol with anise which smells like black licorice and goes down like whiskey. Now if you don’t like black licorice, you’re not going to like this drink. Also, watch out if you have one, because this drink packs a punch. I thought our waiter looked like a bunny rabbit after taking several sips. I even told him he look like a bunny rabbit, but I don’t think he understood my humor. Hallucination humor that is. By the way, Raki, doesn’t give you hallucination just to clarify.
So here’s how it ended: The vision in your head. Dave riding one of the carpets on the wall. In one hand, a plate of stuffed grape leaves, the other, kebab. Riding shotgun, the bunny with 4 ounces of Raki and he’s not laughing at all.
Bosphorus Turkish Cuisine (across from Eli Lilly) 935 South East Street, Indianapolis, Indiana
Total score: Food: 9 Service 9: Ambiance: 9 Total: 27 out of 30
Andrea’s View: I was beginning to think that the food gods did not want Dave and I to eat at Bosphorus Turkish Cuisine on East Street. The first time we tried to go, the restaurant had changed their Sunday hours without updating the website. Not wanting to make the same mistake again, I made a reservation for a Saturday night for us and our friend M, only I did not realize that Italian Fest was that same weekend on the same street. After driving around the neighborhood a couple of times, we finally found a parking spot and had a pleasant walk to the restaurant. We were certainly not disappointed. The restaurant itself is a charming old house that is decorated beautifully with bright colors and textures. I would eat here if only for the decor. But wait, the food is amazing. For our appetizer, we shared grape leaves stuffed with cheese. I ordered the Karniyarik, which is an eggplant stuffed with spiced beef topped with tomato sauce. It was very simple but incredibly flavorful. But beyond that, the most wonderful part was interacting with the wait staff and the owner. Some of the staff does not speak much English and probably did not understand much of our humor, but we seemed to move past that rather quickly. The owner is quite engaged with his customers, and really has a passion for the food and atmosphere that he is providing. I highly recommend this restaurant, and next time we go I will let the servers or the owner decide what I will be eating that night.