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Meşhur Adıyaman Çiğ Köftecisi April 2, 2010

Posted by Steven Bartus in Quick Eats, Turkish Cuisine.

Çiğ köfte, like iskender, is another staple of Turkish cuisine that can be rather underwhelming when poorly prepared. Shortly after arriving in this country, I had several mediocre experiences that left me wondering why çiğ köfte was so popular. It wasn’t until I found Meşhur Adıyaman Çiğ Köftecisi that I grew to appreciate the flavors of this tasty dish.

Meşhur Adıyaman is a chain restaurant with branches all over Turkey and a few abroad. In Ankara alone, there are twenty-five shops. I first discovered Meşhur Adıyaman in Kavaklıdere, the more posh section of the city that suffers from a serious dearth of good, cheap food. When I’m forced to spend an evening in the overpriced bars around Tunalı Hilmi, I get some solace from knowing that delicious and inexpensive çiğ köfte is waiting before I go home.

Meşhur Adıyaman sets itself apart by preparing its dürüm with a combination of pomegranate and spicy sauces, nicely complementing the strong flavors of the çiğ köfte. The man at this location also spreads the “meat” in such way that it is thin enough to avoid overpowering the other ingredients while still giving a distinct taste to each bite. Finally, the lavaş at Meşhur Adıyaman is also thinner than most other places, allowing the çiğ köfte to be the focus of the dürüm, not the bread.

The Kavaklıdere branch of Meşhur Adıyaman is located on Bestekar Sk. under the Corvus Bar (Google Maps). A dürüm costs 3TL ($2 at 1.52TL/$), while half and full portions are priced at 5TL ($3.30) and 10TL ($6.60), respectively.

P.S. If you look at the exterior picture of this Meşhur Adıyaman branch, “etsiz” is visible at the bottom. This seems to suggest that this particular çiğ köfte is made without meat, which strikes me as odd given the name of the dish. I’d appreciate it if someone with greater expertise could fill me in with the truth of the matter. UPDATE: See the comment section for the answer.

UPDATE: I’ve found out that this particular branch is now closed, which is tragic because İbrahim, the man who ran it, truly was an usta. The other Meşhur Adıyaman’s around the city are good, but not  as good as this one.