Thursday, July 16, 2009

Turkish fish and such

Forgot to put this up last Friday. We were going to go down to the Grey Lodge for Christmas in July, and I figured when Cathy got home, we'd head down into Philly for a quick dinner, just the two of us, and then get beers at the G-Lodge. (Not that I don't like the food there, it's great, but I wanted a chance for Cathy and I to spend some time alone.) I started free-associating a little on Yelp and Chowhound and Google, checking reviews on the local food blogs, and came up with Kilyos Fish & Grill, in Bustleton, a Turkish seafood place. I was intrigued.

I was also wicked pleased. The place itself was nothing to look at: a storefront in a small strip-plaza on Bustleton Ave. But Riza Canca, the owner, greeted us at the door, a very soft-spoken and gently friendly man (he greeted everyone at the door; we were just diners, not reviewers (or drinkers: Kilyos is BYOB, and we didn't BYO, figuring we'd save room for the Christmas treats at the Lodge)), and showed us to a table in the simple, quiet dining room. He explained that the restaurant specialized in simple grilled fish, very fresh, but also had meat and salads.

It smelled wonderful, and we quickly ordered: zucchini pancakes with garlic yogurt sauce (the remnants of which you see above; creamy-rich, with a cool but punchy sauce), eggplant with tomato sauce (if only we knew how to get such a concentration of flavor in eggplant, and what a smooth, melting texture; it could have been less cold, though), and for our meals, St. Peter's Fish (tilapia, filleted and grilled, simple and excellent, without the plastic flakiness I've found in so much tilapia) and grilled lamb patties (juicy, tender, and knock-out aromatic; real lamb what weren't afraid to taste like lamb). We wanted the baklava, but we were both gorged, and promised to come back another time.

God bless the Internet. A storefront in Bustleton, called "Fish & Grill"? (The 'Kilyos' part was hard to find on the sign.) We'd never have found it. So...keep posting reviews on sites like Yelp. It helps. Thanks to everyone who did so for Fish & Grill. It made our Friday.

(Wait, a small rant. Keep posting reviews, but don't be one of those people who bitches about "this waitress" or "the mean bartender." That's not really helpful. If you go back, and service persistently sucks? Okay, mention it, but separate it from the food. I'm willing to put up with crap service if the food's good. Besides...maybe it's you.)

Oh, Christmas in July? Excellent. The Mad Elf alone was worth it, though I went off-topic and got a New Holland Golden Cap Saison, and that was pretty damned good, too.

9 comments:

Jim Ryan said...

having spent time in turkey and eaten a lot of turkish fish, i can't believe i haven't heard of this place. that said, i'd say the best fish you get in turkey is really on the mackerel or sardine scale. especially up on the black sea coast. nothing like a big pile of grilled mackerel and a glass of raki to finish off a long day.

Lew Bryson said...

One of the the things people complained about in the reviews is that not enough people know about the place. I'm doing what I can!

Love grilled sardines, ate them in Portugal.

Jonny said...

Glad to hear about this place, even though I don't venture out of the city much. How old is the Mad Elf you were sipping? Also, I'm a bit critical of the Golden Cap--tend to think it's more over-the-top than its ABV indicates.

Lew Bryson said...

It's not out of the city! It's not far from Grant and the Boulevard. Oh, outside of Center City? Okay.

The Mad Elf was last year's. As for the Golden Cap, I'm kinda critical of New Holland's beers -- don't get Mad Hatter at all -- but I thought this one worked. May have to try it again.

Chris said...

I'm not a fish fan but I do love the Golden Cap. My wife and I were on a road trip that took us to Wayne on Memorial Day (stayed the night before at the Wayne Hotel and had dinner at Teresa'a - yum!) Caught the parade in the morning and then I went to the Beer Yard for summer supplies. I had a hankering for a saison and asked for a recommendation. Golden Cap was their first choice so I went with it and have enjoyed it ever since. A great summer beer.

Bill said...

The thing, though, with Yelp and similar review sites, is that it's probably good to have people mention the bad server or the rude bartender (you'd hope they'd be nice about it, but...) -- so that if you find a number of comments like that, you'd know it's likely to be the case that the service is spotty.

Now, when YOU mention poor service here based on one visit... :)

Lew Bryson said...

I get what you're saying, Bill, but...I've seen too many sites where those reviews come in clumps, and are all from people who have reviewed one time on the site, and all too obviously have a personal stake in the thing. I dunno. I just don't see why a place's business should suffer because your ex-girlfriend works there. It's tough to sort out.
Overall bad service, like some brewpubs I could name have had a problem with, that I want to know about. Although there was that recent case when Craig LaBan ripped a new asshole for one particular restaurant hostess...
I guess I'd be happier if they'd just say, "...and our waiter was rude." Instead of going into paragraphs of details.

sam k said...

Had the Golden Cap at the Map Room in Chicago after WhiskyFest this year, and thought it was wonderful, especially at the incredibly reasonable prices that the Map Room charges. Pretty unusual in a big-city specialty beer bar.

Tia said...

This is a truly authentic Turkish restaurant. It transports me back to Istanbul each time we visit. Everyone in my extended family who've traveled with us to see my relatives in Turkey agree that the cooking is as delicious as anything at a restaurant along the Bosphorus. Don't miss the wide assortment of mesas-- they're all great!