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Saturday, August 3: Day 103 – Eating through Istanbul

Rob was in Istanbul for a week last year with his brother, Edward. They had a wonderful time. Rob came back with fantastic tales of food and historical facts.

Here is a picture of him last year in August 2019 eating corn on the cob purchased from a street cart.

Rob, sporting a buzz cut, would never grow out his hair while he was working as it was too much trouble for him.

The following is a picture of him in front of the sea gate of the Ottoman Palace in August 2019.

Doesn’t retirement look good on him?? He has thick gorgeous gray hair that most men his age and younger would love to have.

I made him leave his clippers at home…no room!! Whenever he goes to the barber on this trip, I go along to tell the barber what I want.

We strolled down the busy Istiklal Avenue. It was a Saturday so everyone was out and about.

Dondurma is a special type of Turkish ice cream. Long metal sticks are used to painstakingly knead the ingredients of milk, sugar, salep flour and mastic gum into a substance so stretchy you can actually skip with it, yet bizarrely resistant to melting.

I had vanilla and pistachio and even got an amazing show.

Watch the video.

Rob had read about a potato dish called kumpir so we looked for a restaurant that serves this dish. It is more of a fast food. I love potatoes so I was very interested.

The cook takes a baked potato from the oven and spoons the inside and then adds butter and cheese and mixes it until fluffy.

Then you are allowed to put up to seven toppings on the potato. My daughter, Julie, loves to cook. Her favorite ingredient is butter. She says that everything tastes better with butter. She loves creating art out of food and LOVES cats. A trifecta results!!

Rob opted for the works. I just wanted more butter and cheese.

Next, we found a store that has been in business since 1907 making all flavors and types of Turkish delight. I like ones with nuts in them. They are really good but I don’t like them as much as Edmund in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. After the release of the movie of the same name in 2005, the sale of Turkish delight increased.

In the afternoon, we took a ferry to the Asia side of Istanbul. Then we went out to an island lighthouse called Maidens Tower that is in the middle of the Bosphorus River. It was around seven o’clock and they were getting ready for a beautiful wedding. What a lovely venue! I am sure that the food was yummy.

For evening dinners we have enjoyed going to a restaurant nearby called Salon Galata. It is literally out the front door and the food is awesome. We thought about looking around at other restaurants but our feet say no and our tummies say yes.

When you find a good restaurant with lots of variety and friendly staff, why look all over town when it’s in your backyard? We tell them that we will see them tomorrow. We now are regulars…like Cheers. When we arrived again, we asked Ihsan and our friendly waitress Gulcihan if they have been waiting for us.

“Yes.”

While waiting for our food we heard this song that sounded like Barry White but scarier. We used the Shazam app to identify it: Waiting for the Miracle by Leonard Cohen. Rob dubbed him Scary White. Ishan says that he is a very popular singer in Turkey from Canada.

Ihsan, the restaurant owner and our new friend, brewed some complimentary traditional Turkish tea.

Ihsan said that he had it soft for us. I really like sweet tea but he said that it is best to eat with a sweet with it instead. He gave us some Turkish delight.

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