Thursday, June 16, 2016

Laura's Travels: Middle-Eastern Food!

First up...a tiny little Turkish place in Knoxville, TN called "Quality Turkish Market." It's half store, half cafe.

I started out with some Turkish coffee…it’s served in a small cup because of how potent it is. It’s incredibly thick—If it isn’t constantly stirred a sludge of coffee grounds falls to the bottom of the cup. It’s packed with Arabic coffee flavor without being bitter. While American coffee is basically water, Turkish coffee is like someone decided to make a science experiment to see how much coffee you can fit into water without turning it into a solid.


The main dish was Doner, a type of kebab traditional to turkey made from thin slices of lamb and often served with pita bread and tzatziki sauce.



The salad added a fresh burst of flavor with a dressing made of lemon, olive oil, and spices.



Next up: Mr. Kabab, a restaurant in Lexington, KY with Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern food.

The star of the show was Shawarma—lamb chipped from a skewer and served over yellow rice with garlic yogurt sauce…it’s sort of like the middle eastern version of gyros. As you can see from the slight reddish tint, it’s cooked perfectly!

And yes, I started loving Shawarma  BEFORE Avengers made Shawarma cool.

Hummus! This was the place that got me hooked on hummus as a kid. It's drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika. It's chickpea and tahini goodness!


One of my favorite dishes is stuffed grape leaves—I’ve had stuffed grape leaves at many Middle-Eastern restaurants but these at Mr. Kabab remain the best…juicy and flavorful!


The decor at Mr. Kabab was also nice...below is a detail from one of the traditional pieces of clothing displayed on the walls.