Erzincanlı Ali Baba
Erzincanlı Ali Baba sits in the shadows of the beautiful Süleymaniye Mosque in the historical Beyazit neighborhood. Open since 1924, this popular restaurant serves traditional Turkish and Ottoman cuisine and, most notably, the country's favorite bean dish — kuru fasülye. This hearty meal is comprised of white beans that are slow-cooked in a rich tomato broth. These beans simmer away in a large copper pot and are best enjoyed with a plate of pilav, a sprinkle of black pepper, and a slab of thick, creamy yogurt, making for a cheap and wholesome meal.
The menu also offers a broad selection of kebabs and köfte (Turkish meatball), more vegetable and pulse dishes as well as traditional Turkish desserts such as fırın sütlaç (oven baked rice pudding) and kabak (roasted pumpkin in syrup). On sunny days, the outdoor seating area is shaded by canvas canopies and the leafy trees and walls of the mosque's outer complex. Inside, the humble interior is decorated with red and white wall tiles and photos of famous visitors. There are many kuru fasülye joints just opposite the impressive Süleymaniye Mosque, but Erzincanlı Ali Baba is the most well known and is worth stopping at for a bite to eat a filling lunch that is also kind to your wallet.
Kuru fasülye (Turkish-style white beans in a rich tomato broth)
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