Anatolia is my own Turkish delight. People often ask me where I go for comfort food and I always tend to default to my good old Cafe Polonez or my Mexican hideout in Kensington market. Now that I have experienced Anatolia to its fullest, I can say with delight (pun intended) that this cute and little spot in Etobicoke will be joining my list of comfort food restaurants.
The first comfort I get when I arrive at Anatolia is knowing that I will be greeted by a pleasant group of waitresses that will be bring me a delicious loaf of the famous Pide Bread.
The bread is buttery, crunchy on the outside and soft in the centre and its accompanied by a small serving of hummus for dipping. The bread is so good that it might make or break your meal if you do not watch how much of it you eat. Been there, done that.
Anatolia is the name given to the region of the Westernmost part of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey. Influenced by a fusion of Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Balkan cuisines (Greece being one of the strongest); Anatolian cuisine is best known for its use of breads and pastas in its meals. One of the better examples of Greek influence you will find in Turkish cuisine is the use of phyllo style pastries, the Sigara Boregi is a clear representation and comfort food #2 in my books.
Also known as Yufka pastry, Sigara Boregi is filled with a lovely mixture of feta cheese and parsley. With a resemblance to Greece’s own Spanakopita, this pastry appetizer reminds me that sometimes less is more, and in this case, simple is just tastier.
Comfort food #3 and the ultimate tomato sauce style dish I indulge in is the Yogurtlu Adana.
Once the dish arrives, the first thought that comes to mind is comfort indeed, the second thought is that the balance of red (aka tomato sauce) on the dish is a bit off-putting. However, once you take a fork, cut a bit of the spiced mix of lamb and beef, dig through the meat straight into the sauce and buttery pide bread underneath, grab-hold of all that tender and soft juiciness that you are about to indulge in and eat it; you will realize how special and yummy this dish is, and how much more of the sauce you want to have.
Let’s talk about the sauce for a moment…this tomato sauce is one of the lightest, tastiest and best balanced tomato sauces I have ever had the pleasure of trying. You can clearly distinguish this was made with fresh tomatoes and that the chef took its time with the sauce.
Last comfort food delight is the Anatolia Mixed Plate.
Anatolia Mixed Plate
The plate requires a bit of explanation as it’s a combination of the most popular Turkish dishes offered at Anatolia, in one big plate. This hearty meal comes with grilled chicken shish kebab, flame broiled Izgara Kofte (aka Turkish meatballs), Lahmacun (a thin pita topped with a fine layer of spiced ground beef and herbs), rice pilav, Bulgur (middle eastern grain made out of wheat cereals) and salad. A mouth-watering indulgence and a great dish for the hungry.
Until our next comfort food delight Foodies!
Dining Experience: Dinner
Location: 5112 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON
Menu items: Pide Bread, Sigara Boregi, Yogurtlu Adana & Anatolia Mixed Plate