It is a sad fact that not all Turkish food is good in Turkey. I'm sure it must be like that everywhere. There must be, of course, lackluster croissants in France and fair to middlin' paella in Spain. But I find it to be especially sad that one of my favorite Turkish foods -- pide -- is something I cannot seem to find in Izmir.
There used to be an amazing Konyalı pide place just by our house, but after it closed due to general incompotence, I spent months trying to find a replacement. And I never did. Most of the pide made at the places I tried in Izmir came straight out of the kitchen soggy and wet -- how do they even do that? -- and had far too much oil than necessary.
As a result, I haven't had good pide in months and they were long, long months. And when we went to Trabzon I more than made up for that.
When we told the driver we hired for the day that we wanted to eat pide for lunch, he said he knew just where to take us. We followed his lead and he took us straight to Anıl Pide, just off Ataturk Alanı in the heart of Trabzon's centre.
I started off with the Yaprak Pide, which reminded me a lot of lahmacun (below) and Jeff ordered the kapalı kiymalı pide (closed meat pide, above middle-right). Both were excellent, though they didn't quite make up for a months-long pidesiz existence.
So in the evening -- after our driver had left us and he coudn't see our secret shame -- we scurried back to the restaurant and tried a few more options. I know it's unorthodox, but tavuklu pide (pide with chicken) is one of my favorite types of pide. Actually, it IS my favorite type of pide. It's just that it's kind of difficult to find on most menus so I normally end up going with karışık (mixed), which I always hope means I get a few obligatory tomatoes instead of a half kilo of ground meat.
But when Jeff ordered his pide (below) we realized the secret to the Black Sea's pide reputation: butter. Copious amounts of butter. And not just used in the actual cooking but piled in a melting spoonful on top.
Useful info: Anıl Pide, Ataturk Alanı No 8, Trabzon, Tel: 0462 321 05 40 / 321 05 41