Café Turko

Ali Nazik, Kuzu Pide & Beef Beyti from Café Turko

TMA'ed while listening to They Know by Luke Christopher

Temi: Café Turko is a Turkish restaurant in Fremont, Seattle that serves all Halal meat, which was perfect for Mari.

Mari: Walking into the restaurant, I no longer felt like we were still in Seattle. The place can only be described as organized chaos. The entrance has a crowded bookshelf and table full of merchandise, the unfinished ceilings have light fixtures arranged in an abstract manner, and the open kitchen is the focal point of it all. It was a lot to take in, but I oddly felt very much at home.

Temi: We were seated pretty quickly as the restaurant had just opened up for dinner. After spending several minutes trying to decide what to eat, I went with the Ali Nazik (Grilled spiced chicken served with yogurt, grilled eggplant sauce and Antep seasoning). Mari got the Beef Beyti Kebab (Grilled Beef strips wrapped in Lavash bread, grilled together and then topped with tomato sauce and yogurt sauce) and we got the Kuzu Pide (Turkish bread topped with lamb, tomatoes, spices and mozzarella) to share.

Ali Nazik

Ali Nazik

Beyti Kebab

Beyti Kebab

Kuzu Pide

Kuzu Pide

Mari: We waited quite a while for our food. It took about 25-30 minutes for it to come out, despite us being one of the first few customers to arrive. I guess we made the mistake of sitting next to the wall covered with oriental area rugs because the wait staff concentrated more on the folks seated by the kitchen.

Rugs at Café Turko
Cool Lamps at Café Turko

Temi: Before our patience could be tested further, all three of our dishes were brought out. I loved the Kuzu Pide, I especially liked the lamb. I don’t know how it is cooked, but there is something about it that reminded me of the flavors of goat meat - which I love.  And the bread…oh the bread. Crispy, fluffy, buttery. I could taste the butter! Round of applause for the bread.

Mari: The Kuzu Pide was very much like a pizza. The bread tasted as if it was freshly made and the lamb was perfectly tender. One minute it was there and the next it had been devoured. We almost forgot to take a picture of it, that’s how good it was.

Temi: Café Turko has an Ali Nazik fan club, right there on the wall, pictures of people with their Ali Naziks, smiles out. I thought it was a great meal, would I join the fan club? Probably not, but it was a good meal. It had a passion fruit vinaigrette that was a little bit tangy, a little bit sweet and it made eating my vegetables so much easier. It also really complemented the chicken.

The Ali Nazik Fan club at Café Turko

Mari: They might have an Ali Nazik fan club, but I'm starting a Beyti kebab one if anyone wants to join. Beyti Kebab is probably my favorite Turkish dish so I had some pretty high expectations. I would rank Café Turko's version as the third best I've ever had. I loved the crispiness of the bread, the pomegranate olive oil that was drizzled on top of it and the yogurt sauce that accompanied it. My only beef (pun intended) was that I chose the beef and not the lamb. With the beef strips it reminded me too much of a gyro.

Temi: I actually liked Mari's Beyti Kebab more than my Ali Nazik. I will definitely get that when I go to Café Turko again. I've never had it before, and I thought it was the best wrap I had ever had. No exaggerations. I will be joining the Beyti Kebab fan club for sure.

Mari: Welcome to the club! We finished eating, and it was back to more waiting. It took quite a while for us to get the check. How very European of them.

In Summary

Bread on bread on bread, no regrets. We would probably go back here just to feast on their bread because it was that special. Their lamb seems to be their winning meat, so definitely try something with lamb if you come here. Waiting is something we did a lot of and the waiters did not do enough of. While their non-hovering was nice for a change, it makes it really hard to get some napkins and boy does Mari need more than just the one wrapped around the utensils.

Ambience: Street market style

Wait time:  20-30mins

Food: Buttery

Would we go back? Probably

Halal Friendly? 100% halal

TMA Moment

Temi was one step away from licking her plate spotless.

"Please sir I want some more" - Oliver Twist

"Please sir I want some more" - Oliver Twist