After many, many hard nights of drinking and dancing at Araf Cafe in Istanbul’s Beyoglu neighborhood I had to have sustenance to sustain me inspite of the fact I was walking back to my hotel with little else to do other than collapse on the bed in a deep slumber.
This is where Durumzade comes in. While there are durum joints all over town, this one shines particularly bright. You walk into the tiny, bright shop and select your meat from a cold case, the grill man then heaves a giant portion onto a white hot grill while you sit outside for some premium people watching.
Turks love to party and at 3 or 4 in the morning the sidewalks are filled with people laughing and talking amongst themselves. It’s a very nice scene.
Then the food comes and all bets are off. A durum is taxonomically similar to a burrito with lavash substituting for a tortilla. This durum is stuffed with expertly grilled meat [chicken or beef] onion, parsley and tomato.
It is divine.
The lads that run Durumzade were featured on Tony Bourdain’s No Reservations tv show so one can imagine the lines are pretty long now but any wait you may suffer through will be well worth your while as this sandwich can lead you straight to the promised land.
And it will set you back less than 4 Turkish lira.