Monday, March 9, 2009

Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe

Bosphorus has been on our minds for quite a few months now. It seemed to be the perennial second stop. The other choice that we never chose to review when some new place came to mind. Well, no longer.

Bosphorus is Indiana's first (and we believe only) Turkish restaurant. Bearing quite a resemblance to Greek cuisine, but with a slightly different spicing which appeals more to Fred's palate. Libby is all-too-happy to get her Greek fix in without Fred's complaints of "phantom spices in the lamb which ruined the whole gyro."

Located off the beaten path for anyone not working at Eli Lilly, Bosphorus is another of Indianapolis' well-known secrets. It seems everyone has heard of the place, but somehow not yet tried it themselves. Well what's stopping you people?! Is it the perfectly cooked lamb? The best hummus (by far) in Indy? A strange aversion to grape leaves, perhaps? Whether it be Dolma, Babaganush, Falafel, Adana kabobs or the Turkish Delight, sign us up.

This afternoon, Fred called home for an impromptu lunch. We decided immediately on rectifying our oversight and agreed to meet downtown at Bosphorus. Since the Oz had just finished 1/2 a box of Bugs mac 'n cheese, he will not be able to provide a food review. But he was certainly welcomed by the staff and spent a good few minutes being completely bashful, refusing to return their gazes.

We started off with the apetizer combo. Wonderful, fresh, hot pita, Indy's best hummus, grape leaves stuffed with rice, currants & pine nuts, tabouli (a cold couscous salad), babaganush, borek (pastry filled with feta & parsley), and an eggplant salsa. While we both dove for the grape leaves, the eggplant salsa really stole the show. If you like any sort of middle-eastern faire, you'll LOVE this dish!! Softened eggplant in a chunky tomato relish seasoned with garlic. Fabulous with their amazing pita!!

Fred ordered the lamb kebab lunch special with tomato soup, rice & veggies while Libby went with a lamb wrap with a side of fries (hoping Ozzy might be tempted). Fred's soup was simply amazing. He likened it more to a bean & meat-free chili -- highly seasoned and without a hint of that Campbells bland sweetness. The lamb was lightly seasoned and allowed the real flavor of the meat to come through.

Libby's wrap was simply the lamb, a salad mixture and a wonderful spicy cucumber dressing. Not the cool cucumber you'd find a Greek gyro. It was very fresh and the lamb was yet again cooked to perfection; a little char, very tender. Surprisingly, although Ozzy wasn't tempted, the fries were actually pretty good. We wouldnt expect that from a Turkish place, but wouldn't order it normally either!!

Oh, and lest we forget, you MUST order the hot tea. Strong and vibrant of the bagless variety. The perfect compliment for the meal.

Wrap Up
Price-$$-$$$, Lunches for as little as $6, but upwards of $14 for the more exciting stuff!
Atmosphere-****, Perhaps twenty tables. Turkish sports or news on TV and a family who obviously could tell you the names of the whole Turkish soccer team.
Service-***, Friendly and patient, even with a labile 4-year-old.

Fred - B+, Some of my favorite ethnic meals have been here, and that's saying something! Try the Turkish Delight. No, not that one! The insanely good vegetarian dinner!!
Libby - A-, I'm a real sucker for well-prepared lamb. Unfortunately they were out of Dolma today, but that surprisingly delicious eggplant salsa has become a new favorite.
Ozzy -N/A - But he was welcomed by staff even though he prefered to play with Dad's iphone.

Bosphorus on Urbanspoon


Rebecca said...

I second your recommendation for the Turkish Delight. It never fails to impress - plus, it's an excuse to eat more of the fab hummus.

WYA! said...

Glad you tried Bosphorus- it's one of our favorites.