Orlando Turkish eats: Anatolia restaurant near International Drive

See recent posts by Ricky Ly

Anatolia has generated a lot of buzz since its recent opening on Orlando’s “Restaurant Row,” located in Dr. Phillips Marketplace Plaza (a short drive from The Ritz Carlton on International Drive). The Orlando Sentinel wrote that it would be a strong contender in the paper’s Foodie Awards next year for the title of best Middle Eastern restaurant.

The restaurant is perfect for families on vacation in Orlando looking to try out an exotic meal from Turkey. The menu is extensive; the dishes are filling; and the atmosphere is cozy yet classy, with a soundtrack of the latest popular Turkish music playing in the background while you eat.

For starters, I would recommend the Lavas ($2.50), a thin Turkish bread made from flour, water, and salt that’s puffed up with air like a balloon. The Lavas is especially fun to eat dipped in cacik, a yogurt made with finely chopped cucumbers, herbs, and a hint of garlic.

For the entree, you can choose from one of the many kebab dishes on the menu, all served with rice, mixed vegetables or red potatoes. The Karisik Kebab is a mixed grill platter ($16 per person) large enough for two people, with Tavuk Adana (chicken) kebab, Lamb shish kebab, Chicken Kebab, Doner Kebab, and Lamb chops with a serving of Kafte Kebab — all quite delicious and very satisfying.

For dessert, try the traditional Baklava, a layered filo pastry filled with pistachio and drizzled with home made syrup, or the Kunefe, a large shredded dough layered with a mild cheese and syrup that’s big enough to feed a family of four.

So if you’re staying in the Universal Studios area, or at The Peabody Hotel for a convention, drop on by Anatolia for a great evening of tasty, exotic foods.

-Ricky Ly of Tasty Chomps! The Orlando Food Blog

[Photo Credit: Flickr/william couch]

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