Sunday, June 14, 2009

Highlight #184: potential revealed - Restaurant: Cafe Antalya

Jason orders yaprak sarmasi or stuffed grape leaves at every restaurant he could find them in. I always try one and then leave the rest to him. Mostly they are too chubby and overstuffed. Sometimes the content is too mealy. Sometimes the rice is too hard. And often times, the stuff is too sour. So when he ordered these at Cafe Antalya, I half expected the same. But the other half hoped to be proven wrong, since I have heard much good things about this place.

These were a revelation. The size of small cigar, each piece is sufficiently but not tightly stuffed. I tasted lots of wonderfully subtle flavors of pine nuts, currants, well cooked rice, etc. that were often covered up by sourness. I can eat these all day!

The hot borek also far exceeded expectations. Incredibly crunchy and flaky, the almost greaseless shell gave away to a slightly more chewy center perfumed by ground lamb and onion. Lovely lovely stuff.

We love lamb, so also ordered it in the form of kofte or spiced and ground lamb chargrilled on a stick. Jason likes to comment on how unappetizing it tends to look. I don't see it that way. Food generally looks good to me. In any case, looks aside, this is a mighty yummy dish when done well. Here the spicing is very controlled, so the meat is neither too salty or too herby. If you like the natural flavor of lamb like we do, this is a great way to experience the lightly herb enhanced taste of it.

We'll definitely be back for more of the grape leaves and try some other meats. This is a great little spot worth the drive up Roswell Rd. for. When we were there, almost everyone else in there spoke the language of their homeland.

Cafe Antalya
8290 Roswell Rd.
Sandy Springs GA 30350
Phone: (678) 527 0900

1 comment:

bunnybuntales said...

Went there twice this week. Yummy. I like the carrot taratur and meat borek and grape leaves. I'll try the stuffed cabbage next time.