A Little Turkish Brightens the Day

I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, but I kept to the schedule and treated my mother and sister to a day in the City.  The plan was to visit my brother-in-law, who so sweetly invited us to lunch.  Oh, right, the “first-born” sister was there too.

But first, we made a little tour of my old neighborhood, on the south-side of town.  As we drove along admiring the shops, restaurants, and architecture, I found my way to 4th St.  The intent was to check out Fabric Row with mom.  But, I stopped at the corner of Bainbridge, looked up, and saw a very familiar shop.  To the untrained eye, it appears to be the typical corner store:  cigarettes, milk, small groceries, maybe a sandwich.  But I knew better.  It’s a Turkish market!!


I walked into the store and immediately decided the young clerk was Turkish.  I asked, “Yufka?” He looked a bit bewildered.  So I repeated, “Yufka var mi?  Sigara boregi icin.”  He smiled and asked, “Turkce biliyormusunuz?”  Yes, I speak a little Turkish and he showed me the varieties of phyllo dough he had to make Cigar Borek – a rolled pastry with feta.

The family was waiting in the car, so I only quickly perused the items on the shelves as I made my way to the counter.  I told him the next time I came from Turkey, I would stop there on my way to Mom’s – to buy gifts.  That way I wouldn’t have to carry the heavy walnut honey.  “Walnut?”  “Ceviz. Cevizli bal.”  Looking back, I don’t know why I call it that, the honey is clearly jam packed with peanuts and hazelnuts.  But I have never learned the general word for nuts, and walnuts just comes easier than, “fistikli findikli.”  🙂

We spent a good 10 minutes chatting.  I didn’t catch his name, but I hope he reads this.  “We wish you well with your Adventures in Philadelphia!  Tekrar, Hos Geldiniz!”

Oh, and I shouldn’t forget the recipe:  Sigara Boregi

8 thoughts on “A Little Turkish Brightens the Day

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  1. I’ll have to look for that shop next time I’m home in Philly! Here in northern Virginia we found an Afghan market with a great selection of Turkish comfort foods, but the Turkish restaurants here don’t quite hit the spot.

    1. I’m not sure where you are in N. Virginia – but Amity in Fairfax has most of the Turkish comforts you miss. And, we’ve had good luck with Agora in DC (though it’s small plate and a big pricey).

  2. Hi, I am so happy to find your web site  I’ve moved to Ankara from Philly ten months ago. I used to go to Queen Village. There should be a Turkish restaurant on South (3rd st.) street where you can eat great food and listen live Turkish music. If you come back to Ankara I would love to meet you in person.

    1. Hello Suhela! Welcome to the blog and back to Ankara! I think the restaurant on 3rd is owned by the same people who had Divan – which is now closed. It was a great place! I actually live here in Ankara. Hope to meet you some day!

      1. Hello Terry,
        I really enjoy reading your blog. Altough I was born and raised in Turkey ,after living in the states for 18 years, now in my home country I feel like a foreigner!!! This reverse culture shock is worse than the culture shock. I was wondering if there is a grup of expads that get together to do things and share time so I can join in? I would love to meet you and new people and make friends for myself and my 10 (boy) & 7 (girl) years old children. Thank you in advanced .

  3. Hello Suhelya and thanks for reading the blog! There are many expats in Ankara. I will send you and email with a google group you can join where we share info, set up meetings, sell things, etc. Also, check out Ankara Expat Life on FB, as well as Expat women in Ankara on FB.

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