Eating Black Sea Pide in Istanbul

kapali-pide-kara-deniz

Hasan is my fixer, my concierge, my tour guide. He is the protector. When I am in Istanbul – or wherever else in Turkey he and I might be at the same time – I have to get in touch with Hasan. I’ve known him since my teaching days in Ankara back in 1997 when he was dating my department head at the school. Now the husband of the amazing Ask Linda in my book, he has become a great friend with super powers for making cool things happen.

I say “I wonder what apartments are going for in this neighborhood” and his phone is already to his ear. Ten minutes later, a trusted real estate agent grabs a chair at our coffee shop table and we are off to look at a couple places nearby that are for sale. Show up at a restaurant with an hour-plus wait? Hasan has us seated in five minutes. But best of all, if I am hungry, Hasan knows the best places I would never stumble across on my own.

 

akcaabat-kofte-kara-deniz-pidecisi-2

 

That’s how I ended up at Temel Reis Akçaabat Köftecisi, a restaurant that serves Kara Deniz or Black Sea pide. Black Sea pide? What’s that? I’ve been to Turkey plenty, even lived there a year, so I’ve consumed my share of pide, the oblong sort of Turkish pizza. What could be so different? Well, for starters, in this nation of lamb, the meat used on these pides is beef. And unlike the open pizza-like pide I was familiar with, these were kapalı or “closed” pide, with the crust folded over the top, creating a flattened torpedo of delicious.

Our food mission required us to take a ferry across the Bosphorus from the European side to Üsküdar on the Asian side, not really much of a tourist destination. Akçaabat is a town along the Black Sea, just west of Trabzon. Hasan tells me their pides are famous for butter, and I can remember traveling along the Black Sea coast and dining on seafood just swimming with it.

 

akcaabat-kofte-istanbul

But it wasn’t just the pide that was special. The köfte was also particular to Akçaabat. Countless towns in Turkey — İzmir and Tekirdağ, for a couple examples – have their own style of making köfte, a Turkish meatball. Each variation has a town name in front of it so you know what to expect. Akçaabat köfte is wider and flatter than most, and softer due to the abundance of crushed rusks (twice-baked bread pieces, think croutons) in the meat mix before they are grilled.

The staff appeared to know Hasan and set us up with menus, but Hasan did all the ordering.

 

kapali-pide-butter

Here’s some Black Sea pide. Yes, it already comes with butter in it, but they provide you with a bit more to smear on when it’s ready. Note the proper etiquette for butter application. Pinkies out please.

 

black-sea-pide-beef-dana

This particular style of pide is filled with cheese, butter and these cubes of braised beef.

 

yuvarlak-peynirli

We had this on our third trip here that week. Yuvarlak peynirli (round pide with cheese) This one has an egg (yumurta) on top. Very nice for dipping each piece into.

 

roasted-vegetable-pide

Kavurmalı sebzeli pide (pide with roasted vegetables) for the health conscious among you. But they also have baklava, in case you were wondering.

Truth be told, after our first visit, we went twice more in the following week, including a trip with blogger James Clark who happened to be passing through Istanbul and didn’t need much coaxing. There are other places where you can find a Kara Deniz Pidecisi, but this one is great and has the benefit of being a little bit off the typical paths tourists take here. Afiyet olsun!

Other blog posts about Istanbul and articles about Turkey on The Mad Traveler.

 

If You Go:

akcaabat-kofte-kara-deniz-pidecisi

If on the European side, take any ferry to Üsküdar. It’s about a 23-minute walk from the ferry landing to the restaurant. Find a dolmuş (shared van taxi on a set route) up the hill and it will take you not even five minutes. Here’s a map:

Temel Reis Akçaabat Köftecisi, Valide-i Atik Mh. 34664 Üsküdar/İstanbul

If you are looking for last minute holidays to Turkey, give holiday providers Thomas Cook a try: http://www.thomascook.com/lp/1×7-last-minute-holidays

Visas for Turkey are no longer given on arrival (as of 10 April 2014) but rather paid for online at the Turkish government run evisa site

Istanbul has two international airports: Istanbul Atatürk International Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) on the Asia side, which gets flights from some of the budget airlines such as Pegasus and Anadolu, plus a few Turkish Airlines flights as well. A third airport is in the planning stages.

 

19 thoughts on “Eating Black Sea Pide in Istanbul

  • March 12, 2014 at 10:37 am
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    I forgot how good that place was – definitely worth the trip to the other side!

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    • March 13, 2014 at 2:15 am
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      We will be eating more Black Sea pide in May and will toast with ayran in your honor.

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    • March 13, 2014 at 2:15 am
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      Seriously, lots of great Hasan experiences over the years, from as far back as my first brutal rakı experience back in Ankara in 1997. In that case he was merely helping me find my door when they dropped me off.

      Reply
  • March 12, 2014 at 5:57 pm
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    I’ve travelled a fair bit and Turkish food is absolutely my favourite, the standard is so high everywhere and so cheap but really fresh. Çig kofte was my favourite. It’s made from raw mince and ‘cooked’ by grinding it with spices. So good.

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    • March 13, 2014 at 2:12 am
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      Yes, that is some good stuff. They also have a sort of vegetarian version as well made with bulgur. They still seem to refer to this simply as Çiğ köfte, so vegetarians should probably exercise a bit of caution. 🙂

      Reply
  • March 12, 2014 at 8:15 pm
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    I can attest to what a treat this place is! Hasan is as well 😉

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  • March 13, 2014 at 7:12 pm
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    Your blog is beautiful, Kevin. I’ve just been introduced to it by “Ask Linda” who is currently my colleague in Florida. (She’s loaning me your book to read.)

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    • March 14, 2014 at 1:25 am
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      Thank you, Mary! I hope you enjoy the book. Linda was a huge part of one of the best years of my life. She is awesome — as you likely already know 🙂

      Reply
  • March 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm
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    I love Karadeniz pide! There’s a fab place off a small sokak near the Taksim Meydan that also serves pide like this, but I’ve heard Uskudar is a good place for it too.

    Can’t wait to be back in Istanbul this weekend! 🙂

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    • March 26, 2014 at 3:06 am
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      Sounds like that one might be easier to get to, depending on where you are. I may try to look it up in May, thanks! But I will definitely have Hasan take me back to this one 🙂

      Reply
  • April 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm
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    Sayin kevin beydendi temel reis olarak sukranlarimizi sunuyoruz tekrardan ziyaretlerini vekliyoruz selamlar hersey guzeldi saygilar temel reis ve ekibi…SERHAT KASAP

    Reply
    • April 18, 2014 at 2:38 am
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      Mayıs ayında Türkiye’ye gideceğiz. Tabbiki, Temel Reis yemek olacağız. Görüşürüz!

      Reply
  • April 22, 2014 at 8:45 am
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    I must say, This is a yummy and tasty post. I am excited to visit this place by seeing these pictures and will definitely share my experience.

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  • June 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm
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    Wow Kevin this looks delicious! Next week i travel to Istanbul i I will definitely try this dish! As i am watching the pictures my mouth fills with saliva 😀

    Amie Cole recently posted..Reservation Counter

    Reply
  • October 8, 2014 at 10:02 am
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    kevin revolinski temel reis tarafından ozlendıgınızı hatırlatırız..saglıklı gunler beklıyoruz;}

    Reply

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