Posted by on Nov 16, 2013 in Eat, Travel | 0 comments

My CouchSurfing trip to Turkey is one I’ll never forget. I became fascinated with the culture and embraced the great hospitality of the Turkish. Walking into the Blue Mosque gave me chills; it was exciting to witness the call to prayer and to be immersed in a new religion.

Blue Mosque

Courtney and I had a trusting CouchSurfing host, Münire. Unfortunately, she had an emergency that caused her to be away from home the first three days of our stay. Without having met us before, Münire willingly gave up her room and key to her apartment. Our last evening in Istanbul, Münire made it home and met us for dinner. The next morning she brought us on a walk to a picturesque university overlooking the Bosphorus. Münire is a beautiful person, inside and out.

Münire

We strolled through the lush green landscape and made our way to the Bosphorus. Münire had to leave and dropped us off to have breakfast at her favorite restaurant, Kale Cafe. Courtney and I had been wanting to try menemen, a highly recommended dish by one of our CouchSurfing friends in Raleigh, also named Kristen.

Kale Restaurant

While we admired the gorgeous view from the only balcony seat at Kale Cafe, Courtney and I were greeted with “Merhaba” by our smiling Turkish server.

View of the Bosphorus

He delivered a basket of fresh baked bread along with fresh butter and honey. We sipped on our Turkish kahve and enjoyed the warm bread. I think the whole stick of butter was demolished by the end of our meal.

Bread and honey butter

Then, I fell in love. Menemen is a traditional Turkish dish that includes egg, onion, tomato and green peppers. What makes the dish unique to Turkey are the spices, such as ground black pepper, ground red pepper, salt, oregano and mint. The spices and peppers have such an intense flavor, which I haven’t been able to find in the States. The eggs are scrambled and cooked with olive oil or sunflower oil. I ordered my menemen with cheese, however, there are many different types made with meats and other vegetables.

Menemen

Perhaps it was the small balcony overlooking the Bosphorus and the fact we were spending our last day in Istanbul, but this breakfast is by far my most memorable.

Kristen and Courtney at breakfast