Lamb and Beef Shish at Pera Turkish Kitchen

For the next few foodie blog posts, my goal is to visit more exotic restaurants. I’ve been b****** and moaning about my dissatisfaction with all these overpriced trendy restaurants, it’s about time I go in a different direction. Hidden gems is much more my interest anyway. Surprisingly, Addison/Carrollton have quite a mom and pop shops tucked away amongst the chain restaurants. The greatest challenge though is the difficulty in reviewing food I have no knowledge about.

For this particular foodie adventure, I grabbed dinner with a friend at Pera, a Turkish restaurant. It’s located off Preston and slightly north of Campbell Rd.

IMG_4731At first glance, it doesn’t look like much. Easily dismissible. The signage doesn’t exactly grab your attention. Walking in, the vibe was very relaxed. Pretty cool actually. Cozy and intimate, almost homey. You wouldn’t have expected it to look like that.  Pera is BYOB and the restaurant was slightly busy for midweek dinner. I hoped that was a good indication for the quality of food.

IMG_4733The service was very slow for us. Took a while to get drinks and even put in our orders. But no matter. I’m here for the food! The owner seemed really nice, if only a little distracted. Anyway, we started with a complimentary bread basket and a Turkish feta cheese dip. I wasn’t a fan of the feta dip, but I loved the bread. Slightly sweet with sesame seeds on top. Great to munch on while we waited for our food.

For the appetizer, we went for the zucchini pancakes. It’s zucchini mixed with veggies and feta and then pan fried with yogurt on top. I didn’t think it was as flavorful as I hoped and definitely was mushier than I expected. I supposed I expected it to be a crisper when I think pan fried, pancake anything. Too much yogurt on top in my opinion. Overall it wasn’t bad, just wasn’t what I was expecting.

IMG_4744For our entrees I ordered the Pera Cop Shish which consists of cubed pieces of lamb meat, marinated in a special seasoning or sauce served with rice and a tangy slaw. The meat was tender although I could’ve used a little more flavoring. Loved the rice. The tang that came with the slaw definitely elevated the taste of the dish as a whole.

IMG_4746My friend ordered the beef shish, marinated beef tenderloins chargrilled and also serve with rice and the cabbage slaw. The meat had a better flavor to it and cooked just right.

Pera's Baklava
Pera’s Baklava

For dessert, we were served complimentary bite size pieces of the house baklava. I liked it enough. It wasn’t overly sweet, but was a little oily for my taste.

After only 3 dishes, I can’t exactly judge this place accurately. I am curious enough to go back a second time and try the branzino and some other dishes. Other patrons actually came to our table and raved about the food while encouraging us to try some other entrees. I’m hoping I will be more impressed next time. For a first timer and someone who isn’t fluent in Turkish cuisine, I liked my dishes enough but wasn’t exactly blown away by any of it. Definitely a cute spot for dinner if you want to be a little adventurous. I’ll keep you guys updated with photos and a review the next time I go.

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