So last week I had another ladies’ lunch in Palo Alto: this time at Anatolian Kitchen, which is Mediterranean but not Greek: Turkish instead. The three of us sat at a table outside, two of us on a padded bench facing the street, able to watch passers-by and the street as if in some European or Mediterranean restaurant. As we enjoyed our cocktails (two strong Mojitos and one Ayran, a yogurt drink) and the great tasting Baba Ganoush appetizer (you can really taste the char on the grilled eggplant—yum!), we looked over the menu, and my eye lit upon the name “Alexander’s Favorite.” Who am I to argue with whoever this Alexander is? Described on the menu as “Iskender, slices of ground lamb and beef layered over bread cubes, in a tomato sauce, melted butter and yogurt,” it was a bountiful plate of multiple slices of meat alongside the sauce. It was quite tasty but also quite filling (as protein can be), so I ended up taking half of it home, where it made for a filling dinner as well. The one in our party who ordered the Combo Appetizer as her main -- hummus, tabouleh, baba ganoush, cacik, dolma, falafel, olives and piyas – said she very much enjoyed being able to try all those items and was very happy with her choice. And the stuffed bell peppers that the third had was quite pleased with her selection, too, taking one home for her dinner as well.
Another reason I wished to stop rather than finish the main is that when the three of us have our occasional lunch out together, we want to get dessert, and this time was no different. Since the “dondurma” is just regular ice cream rather than the now rare true Turkish ice cream, we split a baklava, and I must admit: it was truly the tastiest baklava I had ever eaten! Notice that the the three of us split the two triangles, so we were doing our best to be good.
It’s a nice alternative for lunch from Evvia, which is a great Greek restaurant but which I was going to for lunch two days later. And truth be told, I enjoyed Anatolian Kitchen every bit as much: the waiter was quite personable and told us stories about having grown up in Turkey, so he was very much part of the reason we all had an excellent time having lunch there. And the food isn't Greek but Turkish, so there's a slight difference to the flavors. Parking was easy, too: one of us parked right in front, and I was right on the corner next to the restaurant. The third took Caltrain there since the California Street stop is so close to this restaurant. I look forward to my next meal there!
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