Well, what do ya know, there still are a couple hidden gems in the west end that I keep finding/stumble upon. Anatolia Food Market is half grocery store/half restaurant and specializes in the ever elusive Turkish cuisine, a rarity in town. Seriously, the only other places I can think of are Simit House and Sofra.
I’ve been here a couple times but still need to try their pides. The atmosphere is not much to write home about it but what do you expect from a grocery store/restaurant hybrid?
Menu is split into kebabs, pides and pies. You can order in the back where the kitchen is or take a seat and wait for one of the guys to grab your order.
There’s also menus on the tables but I like how the screens show what every dish looks like.
First sit down visit, I came with E on a holiday Monday for lunch. It was pretty empty save for a couple regulars occupying one other table.
Turkish bread ($2.99)
They were out of Turkish bread the very first time I dropped by but this time around, they were well stocked. I picked one up but should have gotten two. Fresh, great chewy texture; seriously, one of the best bases to make your own pizza concoction.
Thin piece of dough topped with zahter. The bread was a bit too crispy and didn’t have that soft, pillowy texture. I think I prefer the zahter’s I’ve had at a couple other places around town.
Thin piece of dough topped with minced beef. You can’t go to a Turkish spot without ordering a lahmacun. You can opt to get this regular or spicy; go with the latter. There’s a reason why everyone has multiple orders of these on their tables. Cheap, filling and tasty.
Comes with a side of onions (whatever spice they put on the onions is money), sliced tomatoes, parsley and lemon.
Lamb shish ($16.00)
Grilled cubes of lamb mounted on an iron skewer. There’s also red cabbage, carrots, roasted tomato, jalapeno pepper, salad and rice included with the platters. The lamb wasn’t very gamy but it had good flavour and a slight char. The rice (pilav) is really interesting; it’s buttery, creamy, almost melt in your mouth type of texture.
Second trip, we came for a Sunday night dinner and the place was the complete opposite. Packed with families and they had some Turkish pop music up on the TV. There were five of us so we were able to try a couple more platters. I’m not sure why but the chef came out and gave us a couple of complimentary sauces to dip with our pita bread. I think you get it if you’re Turkish or speak Turkish? 😉
Either way, the first one was similar to the spread they put on the lahmacun. Slightly spicy. The second one was our least favourite, reminded me of a coleslaw Turkish style. The last one had a smoky aftertaste and I believe it was roasted eggplant. All of them were brought out cold, if you were wondering.
3x Lahmacun ($4.00)
Why get one when you can get three? These are O’s favourite so we/he had to stock up on a few (heck, he bought a couple for the road trip back). Apparently, you can’t find these in Cowtown?
Again, fresh tomatoes, onion, parsley and lemon wedges. Spicy is still the way to go with the lahmacun’s.
Adana kebab ($14.00)
Ground meat mounted on a wide iron skewer and grilled. If you’ve never had Turkish food before, I think the adana is the way to go. Super tender, flavourful and perfectly seasoned.
Lamb rib ($17.50)
Rib chops from a lamb that has a layer of fat. Interesting description eh? I didn’t get to try one as there were only 4 ribs to go around the table. But from what everyone said, they were good.
If you live on the west end, give them a shot. Tasty Turkish food. Don’t forget to pick up a bread while you’re there!
Anatolia Food Market
15920 Stony Plain Road