Partaking in Istanbul Eats #1

Istanbul Eats is “a serious eater’s guide to the city” which is me in a nutshell so you can only imagine how happy I was when I found out that there was not only a book but a website. The latter is far more useful for me over here (what with a limited amount of belongings and such).

Anyhow, while exploring the website the other day I happened to stumble across this blog post about a restaurant that I had actually recently visited (last weekend to be exact). So I was super excited to have already partaken in Istanbul Eats without even knowing it. I met friends at Van Kahvaltı Evi who were in town for the weekend visting from Ankara.

I was super impressed by the spread. There were four of us and amongst us we split 3 dishes – the traditional breakfast dish that was complete with a great variety of cheeses (like stated in the blog review), gözleme and a menemen. Now my favorite was definitely the honey – it had texture. That might seem and sound strange and awkward, but no it was overflowing with that much more flavor. Absolutely wonderful. Paired with the amazing kaymak and you are in heaven.

My friend was super excited to take us all here because of a type of bread that you can only get in Van (a city in Turkey) and they don’t always have it , but we were in luck because they had it and you better believe that it was the first bread to disappear from the obligatory table bread basket.

This is definitely a place where I will take others. It might be a bit far from my campus, but the bus and metro ride are definitely worth it in the end. Be sure to take note that a wait line tends to form (;

Do you have any recommendations for great places to eat at while in Istanbul?

Cheers from a serious foodie


A Little More Paris

The day after my delicious French dinner in great company was all about getting to Sacré Coeur because travel buddy Jess was set on seeing it. No objections from me though because it really is a beautiful cathedral.

However, we did need to get a little fruit breakfast in us, so we first checked out one of France’s infamous produce/street markets. Fruit was eaten, earrings were bought and a new “friend” was made

Why hello there Mrs. Potato Head – fancy finding you amongst all those fella potatoes (;

Sunflowers are my favorite (:

Showing off how good their melons are

Jessica’s new friend. He saw me taking pictures of the stalls and wanted his picture taken with Jess

Love all of it!

It is France after all…

We spent a decent amount of time taking in the Cathedral. From the inside to the outside and all the views around it.

Too funny to not take a picture

After touring around the cathedral I bought a local band’s cd “Les Presteej” – I was smitten when listening to them playing on the side of Cathedral. They were pretty great and now they are forever a part of my music collection. Let’s not talk about how I don’t understand anything that they are singing about in French, but I feel that I am more cultured just by listening to it and maybe one day the language won’t frighten me anymore.

Les Presteej (not my video, but am thankful someone else uploaded a video of them)

The Carousel in Montmarte

Then it was off to take a glimpse of Moulin Rouge – interesting stop over. Along the way I got a Pain Au Chocolat (just for you Whitney and your continuous search throughout Illinois for one). Besides I think it is a cardinal sin to go to Paris and not have one.

Jess and I finally made it back to Notre Dame for about the 10th time but THIS time we actually went inside. Definitely worth the trip halfway across town for it. I still stand by my opinion that the outside (specifically the sides with all the gargoyles) is the best feature of the cathedral, but I still got some good shots of inside the cathedral.

Your neck hurts from craning it to see all of the details

Stain Glass

My favorite picture from inside Notre Dame

Of course I requested we stroll the exterior once more so that I could get a few more shots of the amazing gargoyles! Get there before they are all weathered away – they are incredible. I will blame my parents for the weird gargoyle obsession since we have one at our house.

The challenge is in the hunt for a gargoyle still in good condition – this guy was a top finisher

These guys made carrying around my telescopic lens worth it

The backside of Notre Dame with the Garden

One last photo of Notre Dame

By then our hours were dwindling before we were to board our flight to Lisbon – the next recap of my travels – stay tuned!



Caught Running

Friday I have no class. It is a beautiful thing. I thought I had to do something productive with this past one though so started my day off with a run along the Bosphorus. Now the hills through campus down to the Bosphorus are a tad steep and I will probably be without knee caps or something by the end of it all, but I am too eager to get down to the waterside to walk down. So by the time I got to flatland (something that there is not much of in Istanbul) I had hit a good pace and had zoned out into my own world as is normal for me on runs. However, I might need to stop doing that because it got me a little tangled up. Yes, literally tangled up. All along the Bosphorus are amateur fishermen and there seem to be a lot more during the cooler hours of the day – naturally. Well one guy just happened to be casting his reel and got an early catch – me! Yes, my shirt got caught by this random dude’s fishing rod and let me just say it was quite the sight with me screaming because I was startled and him confused and apologizing in Turkish. Now I was glad he got my shirt and not my skin – looking for the positives here.

So yes – lesson learned – zoning out when running along the Bosphorus will lend me good tales. To continue or not to continue??