March 23, 2012

Cliffside Park, NJ. October, 2007

I always get excited when I learn that friends of mine are about to make a first trip to one of my favorite places. One morning, for example, a photo appeared on Facebook: my wonderful friend Mike in Lisbon, within a block of my hotel, in MY neighborhood of that fabled city. How I wished I could have been there with him. And then I learn two other friends are leaving for Istanbul. Envious? Not a bit. Happy for them all. Looking forward to hearing from them later about how much they now love the places that I love. For my friends en route to Istanbul: I suggested that when they return, we all go to a nearby Turkish restaurant and exchange stories over, well, something like this adana kebab (served by Dayi’nin Yeri restaurant at Nick’s 60th birthday party.) Adana kebab, for those who have not experienced this particular slice of heaven, is a minced-meat kebab, made from ground lamb (traditionally a male lamb) and lamb’s tail fat, salt and sweet red pepper, molded onto a long flat skewer and grilled over charcoal. It’s usually served, both here and in Turkey, cut in half lengthwise (to accommodate the plate) over flatbread or rice to soak up the juices, along with a grilled tomato and a grilled long green (hot) pepper, and sometimes with a julienned salad of onion mixed with parsley and sumac. Mmmmm.

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