Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Fun With Turkish Food at Antalya, p. 2

Once again, I had occasion to lunch at Antalya Red Square 5131Mayfield Road, Mayfield Heights, Ohio. This time, I wanted to try the Falafel. But first, a little history.

After graduating high school early, I raced into and embraced New York City, and specifically, Greenwich Village. I enrolled at New York University, took a room in the Joe Weinstein Dorm on University Place, and immersed myself in the music and culture of the 1980s Village scene. It was during my six years living in the Village that I learned about falafel - and the greatest falafel of all: Mamoun's, located at 119 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012, 212-674-8685, Open 11am - 5am everyday. Mamoun's was right next to Speakwasy, a folk music club where I spent many hours with my guitar. When hunger called, Mamoun's was always open with a hot, fresh, satisfying - and most important to a college student - cheap, falafel.

In Cleveland, as anywhere, there is a huge variation in falafel. The most well known and ubiquitous purveyor of Middle Eastern eats is a local chain called Aladdin's. The falafel there taste pre-cooked - they are re-heated on order and are generally hard and not fresh tasting. I've had amazingly good falafel at Maha's Falafel at the West Side Market, and at Wafa's in Akron - falafel that is shaped into a patty and deep fried from a homemade mix only at the customers' order. So I enjoy comparing a newcomer to prior experiences.

I was not disappointed at Antalya. First, however, we ordered beverages.

Turkish Coffee

Bob determined that this deeply roasted beverage is a bit of an acquired taste, but he was glad he tried it.

Ayran Yogurt Drink

Though not sweet, this beverage was not quite as tart as the version I had at Anatolia Cafe - it was rich and thick, and the ice did not dilute it much at all. It was very tangy and refreshing.

Doner Kebab - Vertically Grilled Lamb

Bob was impressed with the range of spices in the meat and the pepper salad tucked into the pita.

Falafel Sandwich

The falafel tasted exquisitely fresh, and had a lovely range of spices. Most important, it was not at all greasy. It was served on pita with salad and a touch of hummus, and with a side cup of "special sauce" that was straight tahini - no cucumbers! Note to self - ask for falafel sauce with any meat order.

Once again, Antalya delivers tasty food in a lovely environment.

1 comment:

  1. I really love Maha's Falafel - they're chicken and egg pita sandwiches are good too.