After looking up their menu and not seeing anything that I was excited to eat, I was apprehensive at the thought of trying the Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe, which is Indiana’s first and only authentic Turkish restaurant according to their website. After giving it a try, however, I found a new favorite place to eat.
Only about a 10-minute drive away from the University of Indianapolis campus, the Bosporus Istanbul Cafe is well worth the short drive for a fantastic experience. Upon entering the restaurant, I was led down a hall decorated with multiple carpets, photos and flags of Turkish design and origin, which gave me the feeling of entering another culture. After being seated, I noticed that the smaller, more intimate feel of the restaurant coupled with the authentic decorations created a wonderfully immersive atmosphere.
Our table was given a complimentary pita, a type of flatbread, and my friends and I ordered hummus as an appetizer to pair with the pita. Although I do not typically like hummus, I had to restrain myself from eating too much and not leaving enough room for my meal. We also ordered falafel, which is seasoned-fried garbanzo balls, that were fried to perfection. I really enjoyed the texture, and the taste was amazing.
The food did not take long to come out from the kitchen, so it was warm and fresh for us to eat. For my meal, I split two dishes with a friend: the doner (gyro) and stuffed eggplant (karniyarik). The eggplant came in either vegetarian or beef styles, and the beef was by far the best thing I had tasted thus far. It was rich in flavor, and had chopped tomatoes, green peppers, and topped with a tomato sauce. The doner (homemade marinated lamb and beef,) was juicy, well-cooked and came with rice and a small salad as well as string green beans. Another friend of mine that came along got the chicken kebab, which consisted of grilled cubes of marinated chicken. My friend seemed slightly disappointed with it, and mentioned that some pieces of chicken were too dry. After letting me try it, I agreed with him, but everything else about the meals and experience was great.
After eating, the Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe is now in my top five favorite places to eat in Indianapolis and I will be going back. The service was great, and the waiter kept coming back to make sure we had everything we wanted but was not overbearing. While the menu can be pricey, with the cheapest dinner item being $12.95, you do get large helpings of food. The Bosphorus Cafe is worth the short trip to eat at the only restaurant of its kind in Indiana with delicious food as well.