Last fall while visiting the Turkish restaurant Tacis Beyti, I noticed a small cafe with an unpronouncable name that specializes in Baklava. Today, I made my way back to check it out. After a fun Q train adventure I was ready to dig in. I enjoy trying out new things so today was a real pleasure. Not that I've never had Baklava, I've just never had to choose amongst 12 varieties of it.
I blindly settled on an order of Baklava Fistikli w/Pistachio. It looked like your garden variety Baklava but tasted very, very different. Now, here's where inexperience hurts - I don't know if this tasted as it should. It is hard to describe, it had a distinctive aftertaste that can best be described as goat-like. Strange, I know. I cannot say I cared for it. A check of the ingredients didn't help: flour, pistachio, egg, lemon, sugar, water, starch, butter and salt. If anyone knows the deal with this, please leave me a comment.
So, there I was with a mouthful of Baklava-a-la-goat, which I quickly tried to wash down. I got a mouthful of the grounds, which had been patiently waiting for this rookie at the bottom of the cup. I looked over at the waitress, who was having a great time watching me. She looked like she was biting on the inside of her mouth to hold back a guffaw.
Alrighty then, time to start over. I called over the waitress for some help, who took me over to the shelves. There were all kinds of wonderfully colorful and delicious things to be seen. However, the waitress was a recent (two months) arrival from Istanbul so she was having a tough time explaining them to me in English.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you look at these? Be honest.... Yeah, exactly - orange dildos with pistachio "seed." Turns out, these are "pumpkin pie." Believe me, I asked over and over to be sure she was saying "pumpkin." I really like pumpkin, but hell if I was gonna carry one of these back to my table. Sorry, I chumped out.
Next shelf was more to my liking. Upper left looked like Hamentashen, upper right were some kind of cannoli-looking creations and a variety of cookies on the bottom shelf.
The cannoli-looking concotions turned out to be a sort of baked apple pie-roll, something called Elmali Kurabiye. I knocked one back happily in two bites. Slightly drier than apple pie but with that kind of taste inside a light pastry shell.
A couple of swigs of apricot nectar and all was well with the world again. I sat back, watched some Turkish league soccer that was playing on a flatscreen above the register and looked forward to my next visit - there is so much to discover here.