Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cheap vegetarian eats at Anatolia's Gate Restaurant

Anatolia's Gate on Urbanspoon My vegetarian friend had gone to Turkey earlier this year and talked about having done well there without meat. The Culture Sponges dining group had had a good omnivorous experience at Anatolia's Gate Restaurant, so I dragged her there to rekindle memories of Turkey and show me the veggie way. She did the ordering, except for the "Sahlep Tea". Normally it's sort-of cheap to eat here, but somehow our bill ended up being $44.70 before tax and tip and we ended up with a meal's worth of leftovers.
  • Large Mixed Plate with Lavash Bread ($16.95)
    • What you see in the glass counter when you walk in the door is pretty much what you get. There were nine different things on the full-loaded plate, including stuffed grape leaves, mixed olives, hummus, chemen (tomato paste with spices and walnuts), and baba ghanoush. It's like everything on their cold starters menu except leafy salads.
    • Comes with one of their fresh fire-oven lavash breads. This thing is the size of two dinner plates and comes hot and fresh. Choice of white or whole wheat.
    • Really, we should have stopped right here since there's actually a lot of food here for just two persons. But it just didn't *look* like a lot.
    • Nothing too fancy here unless you haven't had many Mediterranean dips other than hummus. Then it might be exotic for you. A couple of items had a bit of spicy kick but not really hot. Simple, tasty, and cheap to boot. All vegetarian, too.
  • Cheese Pide ($9.95)
    • A pide is a bread with stuff in it. It looks like a canoe and is about a foot long and maybe three inches at its widest.
    • The cheese one is boring. If you want cheese on bread you can do that at home. For $9.95, you can probably get a whole block of cheese and a whole loaf of French Bread. This is way overpriced. Conveniently hot and fresh, but overpriced.
  • Lentil Soup ($4.95 x 2 bowls)
    • If you've had lentil soup in an Indian restaurant, this is not the same thing. The lentils are more finely ground, it's seasoned differently, and you can optionally squeeze your wedge of lime into it for zing.
    • $4.95 gets you a sizable bowl. This plus the mixed cold starter plate is already a very filling portion.
    • $4.95 is supposed to come with bread, but they may have lumped that together with the Larged Mixed Plate. In any case, we just one the one very big flatbread but our choice of bread (white) showed up in two places on the menu.
  • Sahlep Tea ($3.95 x 2 mugs)
    • I didn't see this on the online menu, but it was on the in-store print menu, which says it's made from some sort of rare orchid bulb. Too bad it tasted like the cinnamon that was sprinkled on the foamy top. And for $3.95? Pass.
$16.95 can get you a good amount of food for two persons, so your visit to Anatolia's Gate Restaurant needn't be anywhere close to the over-$50 after tip experience and scary-looking leftovers we had.

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