Troia Pension

Written by on April 2, 2012 in I Eat Turkey, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Troia, Turkey

How I heard of this place: In our hopes to see the ancient city of Troy – yes, the same Trojan Horse – we came upon Troia at five o’clock in the afternoon, a measly 30 minutes after they closed. Just up the road, not one kilometer away, we returned to the site of a pension we noticed on the drive in. The owner invited us in to take a look at the room and welcomed us to the cafe/souvenir shop, where his mother would provide a home-cooked meal.

Type of cuisine: Simple Turkish home cooking, literally prepared by mom. “In the restaurant-café-bar, we provide the delicacies of Turkish Cuisine with a bias towards local (Gallipoli-Dardanelles-Troy) cuisine. We use organic products in all the dishes we prepare in our restaurant. The vegetables we use are prepared from the best crops grown on completely organic soil, in very hygienic conditions. The local cuisine generally derives its taste from olive oil, which is a by-product of olives, one of the region’s abundant products. Since time immemorial, Troy has been the region of olives, wine and cheese. Today, a variety of fruits and vegetables are grown in the Troad. You can enjoy the region’s delicacies in the peaceful and calm atmosphere of our restaurant. In addition to food, we offer every kind of cold and hot drink in our bar, including Turkish Raki and Turkish Coffee.”

Ambiance: Our little Pension came equipped with a souvenir shop turned restaurant/cafe. Inside, a clutter of Troy and Turkish memorabilia surround the two tables covered in what resembles traditional, thick Turkish tablecothes, each with the Kodak logo worked into the pattern. (We later heard that one of our hosts friends makes these cloths and was hired by Kodak to create promotional ones. The leftovers were handed down to our host and his family for use in their Pension.) The bar to our backs, held boxes of Snickers candy, Polo mints, a variety of Nestle chocolates, and a small television ahead of us was flipped on for musical entertainment. Outdoors, where we enjoyed our breakfast the following morning, the space is large and completely covered with a ceiling. Tables and chairs are interspersed between racks of postcards, clothing and bags, as well as other hanging tourist trap goods. Partway through our meal, the lights went out, and we were pleasantly surprised with one candle, by the light of which we enjoyed our apple tea.

What I ordered: Without placing orders, our host (the son of our chef and pension host) offered us the evening’s menu: kofteh, rice (barley) and cauliflower latkes. We’ll take ’em! He first brought us apple tea, which we learned, here (after drinking it for a week) is a powder that they mix into hot water (similar to our Apple Cider mixes in USA). And served our small dinner plates including the three flattened meatballs, side of rice and village salad (shredded lettuce, tomato, and thinly sliced white onions, topped with oil and vinegar and four local olives), with traditional Turkish white bread.

On a return visit, Tuesday, 3 April 2012: In the morning, we returned, this time seated out of doors and offered tea or coffee. Noting the early time, we both opted for Turkish coffee, our second since arriving in this rich land. Our small Turkish breakfast plates soon appeared, this time accompanied by toast! Each plate included one hard-boiled egg, four or five black olives, one slice of hard cheese, three tomato wedges and five slices of cucumber. Each of us also received a single serving packet of butter and one of strawberry jam.

What I loved: I loved the salad most and could not get enough of it! But the meat tasted fresh and full of perfect spice, including the flavor of fresh garlic and onion. I loved that we were served small portions for the time of evening that we sat down to eat (approximately 19:30) and that everything tasted as if it were just made by loving hands.

Why I loved it: I absolutely cannot get enough of the simplicity around food in this lovely country. Each meal is prepared fresh, when ordered, with such care and love and presented with little frill or attitude. Simply good food, made by mom.

Cost: High ($15 per person)

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