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FOOD REVIEW: Istanbul Turkish Grill & Bakery

Liz Burleson / Red Dirt Report
A sampling of the Turkish delights we enjoyed at Istanbul.
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Rusty's Score
5
5 Rustys

OKLAHOMA CITY – When I tell people about my 2009 trip to Turkey, one thing I always make sure to mention is just how good I felt the entire time, something I attribute to the healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine I enjoyed while I was there.

And now that I have enjoyed a meal at the newly-opened Istanbul Turkish Grill & Bakery at 3604 N. May, I can say that a little slice of Turkey is actually here in Oklahoma City – for all to enjoy.

Located in a non-descript strip mall near the Dunkin’ Donuts and a Starbucks, Istanbul doesn’t particularly stand out. But once found, RDR photographer Liz and I entered and felt immediately welcome and comfortable.

Glass cases at the front contained freshly-made baklava (more about that in a sec). We were soon seated and after scouring the menu, Liz and I settled on some hummus with pita bread, as well as falafel to share.

When the hummus arrived (along with some delicious black Turkish tea – good and hot!) the presentation was quite appealing and, with the pita bread, truly yummy.

As Liz said: “This hummus is delicious. It’s really light and tangy and not overly seasoned.”

As for the falafel, we both agreed that it was not overcooked and not too tough. Like Goldilocks, we felt it was “just right.”

“I’ve had a lot of falafel and this, by far, is the best I’ve had,” said Liz with a smile, adding that it was “fluffy,” as well.

For the entrée, Liz had the lentil soup (vegetarian, of course) and a Shepherd’s salad complete with fresh cucumber, tomatoes, red and green peppers and parsley.

“Very smooth and simplistic and not a whole lot of flavors competing,” she said.

Noting that the lentil soup was “tomato soup’s heartier and more savory cousin.” She also said the soup was “very satisfying.”

As for the salad, she noted: “Pretty light. Perfect for the first day of spring.” She also added that she was impressed that Istanbul was making the extra effort to make sure the veggies were ripe and crunchy and fresh.

As for me, it was the Turkish pizza. Little did I know that said pizza was actually three small pizzas with a light red sauce and topped with a smattering of veggies along with minced sirloin and lamb. It was quite good, although for this American palette, I prefer things a trifle more spicy. Nevertheless, I would still recommend it.

And when the server, John, set it on the table, he knew it was a large amount of food and asked in advance if I would be needing a “to-go” box. I said that I would.

Oh, and the baklava I mentioned earlier? Well, we opted to order one slice to share. We both agreed that it was light and fluffy on top and soft and drizzly on the bottom. Sweet but not too sweet with a  light sauce. Again, a highly-recommended dessert.

Would Istanbul fit in in the actual, ancient Turkish city of Istanbul? Absolutely! The service is outstanding, the food is even better. We will definitely be back!

Istanbul Turkish Grill & Bakery is located at 3604 N. May and is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from... read more

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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