Breakfast
I was excited to see an interesting variety of quiches at the buffet this morning. Unfortunately, they were ice cold, just pulled from the fridge. I couldn’t eat it and I really wanted to. There were flavors like mushroom leek, artichoke goat cheese, sausage and potato, etc. Too bad…

breakfast

Shopping and Apple Tea
Kusadasi is known for shopping. It is the 2nd largest bazaar in Turkey and Lon calls it Disney World for women. Leather (clothing and handbags), jewelry, carpet, and souvenir stores are repeated street after street where all the vendors are eager to make sales. Most sales people will offer you Turkish Apple Tea, which most of them are drinking themselves and bringing to each other. I enjoyed the hospitable culture. The apple tea is quite good, tasting more like a lightly sweetened warm apple juice than tea.

Apple Tea

Lunch
Lon asked the hotel manager, where we were using the Internet, where we could get good local food. We were extremely happy as soon as we arrived, seeing that all the patrons were locals that worked in the area, and fresh ravioli were being made right in front of us (sorry for the dark pic).

Making ravioli

I told Lon I wanted the ravioli and went to the restroom to wash my hands. I should have known he would order five dishes while I was gone. Nothing was fancy looking, all very rustic, flavorful and inexpensive. These fried things (kofte) that look like chicken nuggets were made of ground beef and rice, very tasty, but the french fries on the side were soggy.

Meat and Rice Fried

The string beans (the picture didn’t work out) were over-cooked, but the tomato flavor was good and string beans are one of the few vegetables that I can deal with over-cooked.

The ravioli were of course super fresh, the yogurt was light, and I thought it was a bit bland at first, but noticed a few other people adding salt, pepper, oregano, and chili flakes to theirs and followed. It was immediately better and great to dip bread in. By the way, the bread here was much better than the bread we’ve had at all the different stops in Greece so far.

Ravioli

This rice dish, with chickpeas, chunks of meat, and tomato, was a great combination of textures, probably our favorite. Each grain of rice was bursting with the flavor of the stock it was cooked in, screaming of good home-cooking.

Rice dish

The ground meat patties, potato, and eggplant dish looked oily at first, but it wasn’t, actually none of the dishes were. After eating nearly everything but the French Fries, we were very full, but not feeling gross and heavy.

Meat, Eggplant, and Potato

Turkish Ice Cream
On the way back to the boat, we decided we needed to try the Turkish Ice Cream that was being made throughout the bazaar. Generally, it seems to be stirred in a deep metal vat with a long metal spatula. We asked one vendor (in the port area) for a mix of vanilla and chocolate, which seem to be the only flavors available. He dropped some generous dollops into a freshly made waffle cone, which was being made as we approached. Unfortunately, we forgot to ask the price and were flabbergasted at the 6 Euro price tag (that’s $9.25 USD) for a single ice cream cone! Well, he did throw in a second tiny cone for Lon that we didn’t want, but we walked away upset. The flavor was mediocre, like any plain jane vanilla or fudge ice cream, almost cheap tasting. However the texture was notable. It was something like taffy ice cream — it actually stretched as we ate it. The mouth feel was something more like candy and didn’t provide that creamy richness that one expects from ice cream. However, the cone was one of the best I’ve had, just very fresh, not too sweet, and warm after just coming off the iron!

Turkish Ice Cream

Dinner
Dinner was back to being a disappointment. We started with a crab and melon salad. The melon was sweet but there wasn’t much crab flavor (probably because it was mixed with more fake crab meat than real), and the zest was over-powering.

Crab and Melon

Lon had a salad course of vegetable strudel, which was better. It had a fresh soft crust with an abundant amount of filling.

Vegetable Strudel

My entree, a Fried Red Snapper was literally chewy, which is sad since it came with a very good rice. It’s the first time the rice on this boat has been light, fluffy, fragrant, and cooked correctly. Unfortunately, I had to eat it by itself.

Red Snapper

Lon managed to get medium-rare steak this time by ordering it rare. He didn’t enjoy the quality of the meat though. The shrimp were pretty standard but the veggies were nicely cooked.

Surf and Turf

The desserts were also a let down this time. The Sacher Torte was really just chocolate cake soaked in syrup, much sweeter than their other desserts.

Sacher Torte

Lon had the sugar-free crepe. The crepe
itself was good: light, eggy, and tender. The filling was a standard, sugar-free chocolate mousse. It was plated in a pool of dark chocolate that Lon felt tasted like water and ruined the dish.

Sugar Free Crepes

Second Dinner
We’ve been having too many second dinners lately but this time it was worth it. There was a Veal Osso Bucco on the buffet and while the meat was pretty good, the bones were filled with delicious marrow that was easily extractable. I’m sad knowing that most of the bones on the ship were just thrown out.

Veal Bones

We also had some sad looking octopus salad, acceptable ribs, and too much fried seafood. They served a Frito Mixto plate of scallops, large shrimp, fish, and calamari, all heavily battered and deep fried. While the assortment matched the Mediterranean theme of the buffet, the heavy batter didn’t. Lon ate quite a bit anyway (with tartar sauce, so American!).

Frito Mixto

Lon took a few cookies to go as we head to the lounge for some more entertainment. So far the oatmeal cookies have been good but the chocolate chip and peanut butter ones need some work.

Kusadasi was another touristy town, but at least we got a few good buys there. We’ll be hitting Rhodes, Greece next.

posted by Lon at 03:53 AM Filed under Mediterranean, Restaurants, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.