Q: I have a friend flying in from Istanbul for two months. I would like to take her to a Turkish restaurant for her first night here, but I couldnt find any Turkish restaurants in your Best of Denver. Does Westword know of any in the metro area?
A: While it would be fun to find out what a native thinks of our so-called ethnic eateries ever take a friend from Oaxaca straight to Casa Bonita? none of the Middle Eastern restaurants in this town qualify as Turkish.
Pastries and pilafs are high on the list of Turkish culinary delights, in part because of the countrys proximity to Europe and Asia; theres even yufkali pilav, which is pilaf in a pastry. Turkish cuisine also relies heavily on eggplant, leeks, white beans and hazelnuts and anyone whos ever puckered his mouth through a cup of perfumy Turkish coffee knows what a unique experience that can be.
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That said, the closest you can come to Turkish fare around here would probably be Greek, which, though a poor substitute for the sophisticated flavors of Turkey, is still a worthy cuisine. Try South Central II (508 East Hampden Avenue in Englewood, 303-761-3767), a divey spot that was this years Best of Denver winner for Greek, or Yannis (2223 South Monaco Parkway, 303-692-0404). Or check out one of the towns better Middle Eastern restaurants, all of which offer a few crossover dishes with a Turkish accent: Damascus (2276 South Colorado Boulevard, 303-757-3515); Phoenicia Grille (727 Colorado Boulevard, 303-534-3434); or Fettoush (1448 Market Street, 303-820-2554).