I met a friend today at my favorite restaurant in Bloomington, Anatolia Turkish Restaurant and Kebab House. This place has been a favorite since I came to college as a Freshman; I would eat there so often it was ridiculous! Whenever my parents come to visit me, we always choose Anatolia because they are so darn delicious! It is rare to find a place you really don’t mind eating at time and time again.
Anatolia is basically a small restaurant on 4th street that specializes in Turkish cuisine. Their menu is very diverse, with an expansive vegetarian selection. My friend is vegetarian so that was great for her. Best of all, I can honestly say that every single item on their menu is delicious. If you look up reviews on this place, it is consistently highly rated for a reason.
The owners of the restaurant are super nice and always welcoming. They really took pride in decorating their restaurant, which is basically a small house that was converted into what it is today. The outside is filled with flowers and plants. Every year they dutifully tend to the plants and the effect is amazing. It is a beautiful sight when you dine outdoors during the warmer months. In the colder months, the inside of the restaurant is welcoming and awesome as well.
You can choose to dine traditionally at a table or dine in a special area where there are comfortable cushions to sit on. It reminds me of traditional Korean restaurants.We usually choose to sit on the cushions.
The walls are decorated with pieces from Turkey that really make you feel like you are in mini Anatolia. 🙂
I love Turkish food because it is a pretty safe option for ethnic food. In my experience, people with low tolerance for ethnic food generally can find something on a Turkish menu that they would like. My father is one of those people; he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy! There are so many meat options that even he was satisfied. My sister and I love ethnic food and prefer to eat out at ethnic restaurants when we go out so this was a great compromise for when my father came down to visit! Plus, there are so many great ethnic restaurants in Bloomington that we can’t pass them up!
At dinner, I got my favorite Sujuk Pide, which is a sort of Turkish pizza topped with Turkish beef pepperoni. There are tons of options on the menus for the pides, all equally delicious. Best of all, each entree comes with a bowl of soup and salad.
The soup is something else to talk about by itself! Anatolia has the most delicious Red Lentil Soup I have ever tasted. I want to know the recipe so badly! They also have a White Bean Soup that is delicious, but the Red Lentil is the show stopper. It is not a trip to Anatolia without the soup.
Another awesome thing about dining at Anatolia is that the Turkish tea, also extremely delicious, is complimentary. I usually ask them to bring out the tea pot for the table, because I drink this stuff like it is going out of style. It just has a great vibe to it.
Every entree also comes with their award winning bread, which goes great with their soup. It comes fresh out of the oven and to your table in no time. Inevitably, we always run out of bread whenever we go to Anatolia because it is just that good!
Overall, Anatolia is pretty cost friendly, which has kept me coming back so often. When I first started college, I would often come in to eat a cheap appetizer and drink some free Turkish tea while studying. My meal consisted of a pide, salad, soup, bread, and tea and it only cost me $8.95. That is a lot of good food! My pide was the second most expensive pide they had, so it could be even cheaper. My friend got an appetizer and was full from their large portion sizes.
I just love this place. I’m sure you do too after seeing all of these delicious pictures. I always leave Anatolia stuffed and happy. I’m going to really miss this place when I graduate!
Have you ever had Turkish food? How did you like it? I’ve yet to meet someone who dislikes it!