Restaurants- Troy Mezze, Raleigh, NC

It was not my initial idea to write about restaurants when I started off on this blog.    But of late my dining out experiences have been too good, so I decided that it does not hurt to write few words when you come across good restaurants and eating experiences.

Troy Mezze is situated in a tranquil and relaxing little street in downtown Raleigh.   During our visit to the city, we visited that Historic Blake Street and spent an idyllic evening there.   A stroll down the street revealed through the old streets, cobblestone paths that are lined up by quaint little shops.

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Down further, you actually stumble upon a lot of great eating places, one of which is Troy Mezze.   When the chef and one of the co-founders of the place said that it was the best and the only Turkish restaurant in the area, I had no hesitation whatsoever accepting it.

The first thing I noticed when I took in the surroundings of the restaurant were its warm hues, walls draped with kilim rugs, and ornate-colored glass lanterns over the bar.   Then I looked at the Menu and I was lost.  I did know a little bit of Turkish cuisine, but I was totally unprepared for what I saw.  That plus the fact that I was only supposed to take a stroll at the Historic Blake street and my presence there was totally away from the lunch OR the dinner time was not helping either.

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So, I settled for what seemed to me at that time the most reasonable choice- Troy Platter- A sampler of Hummus, Spicy Tapas, Haydari, Baba ghanouj, Lentil patties, Turkish red beans (Barbunya Pilaki), Stuffed grape leaves (Yaprak Dolmasi),Tabboulleh.   My favorites were the Baba ghanouj (eggplant mashed and mixed with virgin olive oil and various seasonings), Dolmasi (grape leaves stuffed with rice, pine nuts, currants and onions) and the Haydari, yogurt with bonus sprinkling of chopped walnuts and mint.

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So, here it is- Troy Mezze on the Historic Blake Street in Raleigh.  A perfect place for an idle stroll and also the home to a lots of good restaurants.  I recently read that good food eaten in good surroundings makes it a great experience.  Blake street and Troy Mezze did that for me.

A little note here: I being a vegetarian had “limited” choice for food.  While I really cannot talk about the meat containing dishes, I did hear that their Turkish style pizza (specifically the lamb pizza) was very popular.

Another note:  Did I tell you that on Friday evenings are Troy Mezze’s live performance evenings?

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Strawberry Lemonade

Refreshing drink for warmer days.  Lemonade/limeade is a routine for us on warmer days.  I must admit that I have never tried Strawberry lemonade before, but after seeing a very tempting picture on pinterest, I decided to give it a shot and I am glad I did.  Apart from the taste being a winning point for this drink, I fell in love with the colors and I am super glad that the pictures turned out much better than I expected.

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Ingredients

  • Simple Syrup: 2 cups water and 1 cup sugar
  • Strawberry Puree: Fresh Strawberries- 1 cup, blend with a cup of water.
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup cold water
  • lemon slices and sliced strawberries (optional)
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan over high heat, mix together the water and the sugar. Cook until the sugar dissolves and it becomes a clear syrup. Remove from heat, add lemon zest and leave to cool.  The syrup will be a lovely clear yellow color from the lemon.
  2. Puree strawberries with a cup of water (strain the pulp- an optional step, I did not).
  3. Add the lemon juice, 1 cup water, and lemon and strawberry slices . Mix in the strawberry puree and the sugar syrup until well combined. Adjust according to taste.
  4. Serve over ice.

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Tea Love

Tea Leaves
Tea Loves
Loves Tea
Lives Tea
Leaves Tea?
Never!
– Uniek Swain

Offer me a strong cup of tea (or coffee for that matter), anytime in the day I never say no.    I bank on my cuppa to start the day off with vigor, as a pick me up for busy afternoons or just to feel good 🙂

When you make Indian style chai, milk is imperative, I believe that is what makes tea a chai.   Only time I ever have tea without milk is when I make Green Tea.  The process is quite simple, I boil milk, water, tea leaves together.  Add some grated ginger and sugar. Boil till required strength and there, I am done with my chai.  Sometimes, I add crushed cardamom pods.

All that changed when I sampled a flavorful black tea at Teavana.  It was heavenly and it was black!! Inspired by the taste,  I made my own mix of spiced tea. I know that I am going to have more cups of black tea from now on.

Ingredients:

  • Loose tea leaves ( I used Darjeeling) 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon- 2-3 Tsp (not the powder, coarsely crushed bark).
  • Ginger (grated and dried)- 3 tsp
  • Cardamom- 8-9 pods crushed
  • Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight jar.

Note:  If you want more stronger tea flavor, feel free to increase 1/2 tsp- 3/4 or more.

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The Tea:

  • Boil a cup of water
  • Add your tea spice mix.
  • Steep till desired strength
  • Strain into a cup
  • Add sugar per taste. Enjoy.
  • Add milk to the cup if you want Chai (Tea Latte).

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