Travel food, Istanbul, Mykonos, Delphi

Lunch by the sea in Istanbul. Langorous. Delicious.

Food is important to Hubby and I. Very important. We like to eat well. So I have to tell you that our food trip experience sucked overall. There were a few highlights which I will share but cruise food and hotel food and Egyptian tour package food? Blech.

The hightlights:
Istanbul. We had the first good meal we ate on the trip near Taxim Square in Istanbul. We strolled down a side street, let ourselves be lured in by a menu hawker (they are at the front of every restaurant) and sat down for a great meal of lentil soup, fried sardines, grilled chicken, arugula salad and strawberries with cream. It was good, solid, locally-inspired food. 
Also in Istanbul, near the Sea of Marmara or the Golden Horn or some other body of water I was way too disoriented to know the name of, we were shepherded to a local place called Nautica or some such. Fantastic. Appetizers and fresh fish and local wine and plenty of cool water.

I ate more at that lunch than I did the entire time we were in Cairo where I lived off of falafel, hummus and pita. 

Lunch began with hors d’oevres. There were anchovies, a spicy tomato salsa, large firm white beans with oil and carrots, yogurt sauce with cucumbers and herbs. Then they brought shrimps in oil with garlic and cheese melted on top. Then a beautiful salad of lettuce, cucumber, carrot, tomato and onion. At some point they took orders and for those who wanted fish, we had two choices. Everyone else chose one type of fish and I chose the other. It was all so good. 

This is what was left after we all ate all we could eat of the Greek salad. Sorry, no before photos. We were ravenous. (Mykonos, Greece.)

Martina in the Gratutitous Martina Sucking Spaghetti travel photo. (Mykonos, Greece.)

On Mykonos we wandered around looking for someplace to eat. We were ravenous but wanted a really good meal. Eventually we were lured in by a tub of live lobsters, a display of fresh fish and shrimps on ice, an incredible, purple bugainvillea on the roof, orange tables and gorgeous young waiters flirting wildly with Eli. This meal was the first time I think any of us felt relaxed and completely satisfied during the trip. (Egypt was stressful.)

Mark had pasta with tomato cream sauce, shrimp and arugula and it was the home run on the table. There was a smoky element that I’m going to have a difficult time replicating but I think sweet paprika is going to be my first try for this elusive spice. Eli and I ordered Greek salads which consisted of a pile of red, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers, and a slab of fresh feta. Oil, vinegar, balsamic and the pepper mill came to the table along with the salad. The onions had been brined or marinated and were sweet, crunchy and so mild that even Martina ate a bunch of them. The kids all had pasta and I ordered the native fish dish served with rice and vegetables. The owner came and deboned the fish for me at our table. Delicious. If you can find the place by the pictures, by all means eat there. It was pricey but well worth it.

I was too hungry to photograph the food. These flowers were out front. (Delphi, Greece)

The third and final good meal of our trip was at a tourist feeding operation near Delphi. There was plenty of bus parking and plenty of food. It’s a good damn thing too because it was 2:3o pm before we got lunch. We were fed appetizers of spanikopita, bread and tzatziki, dolmas, fried zucchini balls and then a Greek salad. We had choices for the main course: cheese stuffed veal meatballs, skewered pork, grilled chicken with rice and fried potatoes. After a week of cruise food we all ate like wolves.

There were a few things I’d like to re-create at home. The spaghetti with shrimps, arugula and tomato cream sauce; fried zucchini balls; dolmas using cabbage instead of grape leaves; the tomato salsa; maybe a few others. If I hit a home run, I’ll post the recipe. I tried the shrimp spaghetti last night and while it was edible, tasty even, it was not even close. There is some smoky ingredient missing and it isn’t paprika. Shrimp heads, maybe? Let me know if you have an idea here. Smoky and good with shrimp, tomato and cream…

And one more thing, I only gained 1 pound.


About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
This entry was posted in food, health and well-being, opinion, recipes, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s