BLD, Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner, is a fun conversation game that keeps coming up with each glorious Turkish meal. My friends and I ask each other what our ideal day of meals would be and consider the courses we would gladly eat everyday. If I actually had to set in stone what I ate daily and what food I would never get sick of, that would be one of the hardest decisions of my life. Seriously considering your BLD could be comparable to husband hunting or defining a career. After spending a few weeks in Istanbul I have been introduced to some great contenders for my BLD.
For Breakfast I only have to think back a few hours to my traditional kahvaltı at Pando Kaymak. The restaurant was established in 1895 and is run by a true veteran of the business. This was my second time there, and each visit it’s quite the challenge to order but well worth it. Most of the people working there don’t speak English, and we suspected man serving us was nearly blind. To make this dream meal come true we had to scrape together the little Turkish we know, ask other restaurant goers to translate, and try French for a median language. The breakfast had a variety of veggies, fresh bread, cheese, and eggs. What really sells me with this meal is the kaymak, the cream and honey, that you dip the bread into. With both experiences at Pando Kaymak, I’ve made it a point to start and end my meal with the sweet glorious bites of kaymak.
Lunch is a no brainer when I consider my Turkish BLD. I would go to the fish market by the Galata Bridge and get a 6TL (3 USD) fresh fish sandwich and enjoy it looking over the Golden Horn. I would gladly do that everyday, well, every sunny day.
Dinner isn’t as simple as lunch to decide on. My brain starts to fry a bit when I run through all of my recent favorite evening meals, but for a quick answer I would pick anything blindly on the Ciya menu.
My perfect Turkish BLD wouldn’t be complete with out çay, and I would need ample cay between the B, the L, and after the dinner. Hands down the most glorious place to enjoy çay has been at Sumahan on the water. Our class was graciously invited to the Sumahan Hotel by Nedret and Mark Butler. The visit was truly inspirational and beautiful. We saw and heard how Nedret’s undergraduate vision of transforming the old Ottoman factory buildings into a hotel came true after working on the dream for years. The view of the Bosphorus was breathtaking, the hotel was impeccable, and the çay was ever flowing. When trying to declare my BLD, I know filling all the spaces between breakfast, lunch, and dinner would be çay at the Sumahan.