Friday, July 5, 2013

Snacking Around XU: Istanbul Grill

G/F Goking Building, Corrales Avenue, CDO

Last weekend, I did my "Snacking Around XU" bit and went out to try the Turkish eatery I noticed last month. With a name like Istanbul Grill, it could only be a Turkish restaurant but it also serves other Middle Eastern dishes. It is just in front of the campus on Corrales Avenue, in the same building that houses the Levi's/Dockers factory outlet. Now about the food, I did only try one dish but more on that later.

The eatery itself is recently renovated, the fresh coat of paint still shines, there is ample tables and chairs for a busy lunch hour and it is air conditioned. They have a widescreen TV playing HBO and it made waiting for my order tolerable. The prices are much more affordable than I expected; that I could fit in two entrees and not break my bank. It is a nice place to eat in and had wifi too; I almost regretted making my order a takeout.

The reason I ordered takeout was because the cloud were threatening to pour out rain and I would be stranded because I forgot to bring my umbrella. Also, I only had time for a snack because I had class in less than hour and I couldn't  risk being stranded.

I had Hummus and Pita bread and ordered some extra bread. It was on their vegetarian listing and they had a few more items that I would like to try soon. The first hummus I tried in Cagayan de Oro used lavash bread, which is similar to pita since both are flatbreads and are ancient in origin. Except pita tends to be more absorbent and it fit their hummus recipe which was runnier than I expected. They also have a genuine foreign chef in-house which reinforces their reputation of serving genuine Middle Eastern dishes. 

Once I had my order I brought to eat in the comfort of my office cubicle.It was real hummus and quite a lot of it too. I wished I had asked for a lemon wedge so that I could squeeze it to add some tartness to the dip. They prepared the dip by pureeing it with a food processor because I cold here the familiar whine while I was waiting for my order. There were still some whole chickpeas that escaped the spinning blades though; still it was a vegetarian dish at an affordable price. I just wished they prepared it with more care considering that mine was the only item they prepared that time and they didn't had to prepare anything else. But I will definitely come back to try some more of their menu items, maybe their shepherd's salad and shawarma.

My takeout: hummus in a cup and some pita bread.
I think an extender was added to hummus to
give it more volume & so lost much of its creamy consistency,
but the absorbent pita bread was a perfect companion
to their version of the Middle Eastern staple.