Helpful ReplyTurkish food - in NYC and elsewhere

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Ketteract
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2016/10/30 11:45:31 (permalink)

Turkish food - in NYC and elsewhere

I was on my way to NJ yesterday, and the same friend with whom I'd gone to Abyssinian Ethiopian in Hartford was in the mood for Turkish fare. Yelp led us to Taci's, in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens.
 
We started with some artfully arranged and ridiculously good hummus.
 

 
This was some of the best hummus I'd ever had: garlic, onion, lemon, sesame, and every other flavor you could possibly want from it. Plus maybe a couple that I couldn't even identify. Just tremendous. The housemade bread that came with it had a crisp crusty exterior and a lusciously pillowy interior.
 

 
(Not pictured: Tabasco.)
 

 
I had to take note of this menu item. Hummus... with pastrami. Only in NYC. (Well, maybe not only NYC, but it sure had that feel.)
 

 
Also accompanying our meal were two small cups of Turkish coffee. The sight of this sent my friend into virtual paroxysms of joy. I was told that it was nothing at all like American coffee, that it was strong, and that she had no idea what I'd think of it. I loved it.
 

 
I am no coffee connoisseur, and I lack the verbal mechanism with which to describe how this tasted. I had no frame of reference for it anyway. All I can say is that it's rich as hell, it's an utterly unique flavor, I found it to be amazing, and everyone should try it at least once in their life. I myself will be having it many, many more times.
 
For whatever reason, I wasn't feeling as adventurous with my actual meal, so I got a doner kebab plate, with the meat and pita that you'd expect along with some superbly seasoned onions.
 

 
My friend opted for what unsurprisingly turned out to be the superior dish: something called "pide", which is often described as a Turkish version of pizza.
 

 
This one was filled with ground lamb, pastrami, some kind of Turkish sausage, and mozzarella. The smell was incredible, the taste even more so. I would never in my life have thought to combine these flavors in this fashion, so I'm glad someone did. There was not very much of this left over.
 
The nearest Turkish restaurant to Hartford appears to be in Waterbury. A reasonable distance... but do they have pide?  (Online menu suggests not.)
post edited by Ketteract - 2016/11/07 16:19:24
#1
chickenplucker
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/10/30 11:55:21 (permalink)
All of those dishes look amazing...
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ann peeples
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/10/30 12:05:09 (permalink)
Everything looks wonderful!
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/10/30 12:13:10 (permalink)
Clearly you're not in Iowa anymore.
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Root-Beer Man
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/10/30 12:17:51 (permalink)
That looks like a great meal! I love Middle Eastern food and see nothing there I wouldn't eat!
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leethebard
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/10/30 12:47:20 (permalink)
What wonderful looking food.Had many unique cuisines, but never Turkish. I must rectify this. Amazing! Thanks!
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1bbqboy
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/10/30 13:09:43 (permalink)
One of our best friends is Turkish. He has a cart here in the Rogue Valley.
Ketteract, did they have Baklava on the menu? My friend's is otherworldly.
Just don't bring up Greeks. My friend will start muttering about how they stole all the dish Turks invented and called them Greek. :-) 
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Ketteract
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/10/30 13:29:42 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby 1bbqboy 2016/10/30 14:25:10
They did have baklava!  We were both far too stuffed to even consider dessert, though.  
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lleechef
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/10/30 14:28:01 (permalink)
Beautiful food!  I love Turkish food, but am definitely not a fan of baklava.  Just too sweet for me.  I would gladly have had extra hummus! 
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1bbqboy
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/10/30 14:29:31 (permalink)
Our friend had already moved from Turkey to Germany long ago. His wife, daughter in a ranching family here, met him there, and he ended up here with her. :-)  Our sons have been friends since Kindergarten. His venture into commercial cooking is recent,   but he has turned out sumptuous feasts for all of us for many years. 
 
post edited by 1bbqboy - 2016/10/30 14:31:09
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Ketteract
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/10/31 09:02:45 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby 1bbqboy 2016/10/31 09:13:49
1bbqboy
Our friend had already moved from Turkey to Germany long ago. His wife, daughter in a ranching family here, met him there, and he ended up here with her. :-)  Our sons have been friends since Kindergarten. His venture into commercial cooking is recent,   but he has turned out sumptuous feasts for all of us for many years. 
 




That's wonderful.  I myself have been enjoying some amazing home-cooking from my Egyptian friend's mom.  The first batch of leftovers that I received contained absolutely nothing that I had ever seen before - and it was all incredibly delicious.  (I should start a thread about that.)  We're very fortunate to have access to such food in a non-restaurant context.
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Ketteract
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/11/07 16:47:54 (permalink)
Yesterday, we met up in Manhattan to practice some ping-pong, and afterwards, we headed to Turkuaz at 100th and Broadway for yet more Turkish food.
 

 
That there was listed as a "French Kiss" cocktail, which included grenadine, peach schnapps, and something else that I don't remember.  It was very capably made.
 
The hummus tasted strongly of chickpeas, tahini, and... that was about it.  I didn't taste lemon, onion, garlic, or anything else that might have given it a bit more dimension.  It did have a nice creaminess but was otherwise not too remarkable - certainly not in Taci's league.
 

 
The bread was pleasant enough, but, like the hummus, not quite at the same level as what we had before.
 

 
I opted for "Etli Lahana Dolmasi", which was evidently the Turkish version of stuffed cabbage.  This did not disappoint!  (How could it? It's stuffed cabbage!)  Whereas European stuffed cabbages are typically pork or beef, this one was lamb, and oh my, you could tell the difference.  It's also served with yogurt instead of sour cream.
 

 
My friend got "Lahmacun": 
 
Crispy thin flat dough filled with ground lamb and blended with chopped vegetables. Served with lettuce and onions seasoned with finely chopped parsley and sumac.

 
Once again, she outdid me on the entree.  Delightful.
 

 
Sort of like a quesadilla, but with a flatbread, no cheese, totally different fillings, and way more flavor. So maybe not like a quesadilla at all.  Whatever.  It was awesome.
 
Overall, I'd definitely go there again, but I'd try a different appetizer next time and force myself to be more adventurous with the main course.  
post edited by Ketteract - 2016/11/07 16:50:14
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Root-Beer Man
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/11/07 18:09:24 (permalink)
That all looks great. The Lahmacun, (also called Lamajoun in other parts of the ME) is one of my favourite Middle Eastern foods. I first ran across it in Jerusalem, where they call it Armenian pizza. It's not overly crisp and can be rolled up to eat like a taquito. They're best when they're just dressed with a spritz of lemon. Glad you got to have one. That's my apizza of choice.
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plb
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Re: Turkish food at Taci's in Queens 2016/11/07 20:49:07 (permalink)
It all looks good. I just looked at the menu of the local Turkish restaurant for pide. They have a few versions, but none with pastrami. This being TX I was surprised that there wasn't one with brisket.
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