Moments later I am brought yogurt, some sort of spicy salsa that has minced peppers and tomatoes and a salad of shredded lettuce, cabbage and carrots. Two bottles of water later, I receive my meal. It is beautiful. Colorful and plentiful, I dig in. Taking a small piece of pide, I spread yogurt and the spicy sauce all over, add a piece of the kofte, some parsely and onion and fold it up nicely. The first bite is heaven. I prepare the next bite. This time yogurt alone and I add pilaf. The second bite is a whole new taste but still a bite from God. Each piece I prepare, I try some new combination from the accoutrement. It is just as exciting as delicious. My stomach thanks me with a small belch as I finish my plate and my 18 bottles of water. I ask the server for the bill, while practing my Turkish I say "Hesap, lutfen." He smiles and brings it to me. To my delight and surprise, it is only 8 lira. My server was very nice and wanted to know where I was from. Although I still have so many new places I want to try, I believe I will be back to Dinc in the near future.
As a national foodie, my tastes have been quite sheltered. My worldly tongue has been confined to the U.S. until now. I am on a quest to find the truly delicious. The perfect bite! I will scour the world until I have discovered this holy grail of cuisine. Beginning my travels in Turkiye, I shall broaden my tongue's horizons and become a true bon vivant!
As I walk the busy streets of Izmir, I feel an intense rumble. Earthquake? No, just my hollow belly. I look around and am confronted with entirely too many choices! The scent of kofte tantalizes my tummy. The heat from the Doner shop is both welcoming and tempting. I hear "Hosgeldin" with every restaurant I pass, by an eager waiter searching for his next guest. Izmir simply offers too many choices and in such a state of hunger, I am not prepared to make such an imperative decision. So I close my eyes and wait. Which sense will give me the most feedback?...Ah yes: The spicy aroma touches my nose and I have found where I will dine. A lovely shop in Kucuk park called Dinc. I approach the restaurant saying "Merhaba" to my future server and take a seat outside. Although it is suffocatingly hot, I always enjoy dining al fresco. I beg my server for water and he brings it quite promptly. I find out he speaks English rather well. I scour the menu quickly. Ah, I find the spicy scent that drew me in. Adana Kebap. My waiter warns me it is spicy and I say "Tamam" with a smile.