Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Turkey has been popping up more and more on the radar. My parents just got back from a tour of Istanbul. They loved the city, people and food. I never thought we would get them anywhere close to the Middle East but now it seems we won't be able to hold them back from a return. Two other friends are set for late summer departures. Turkey has been on my to-see list for an eternity.

Since I have no vacation time until January, I will be living vicarously through others and continue to sublimate my jealousy by eating at Turkish restaurants. Ha, that'll show 'em.

I had a favorite Turkish in Dallas - Cafe Istanbul. It became the ruler by which others were measured. Not so much anymore, there is a better place in Houston - Pasha.

Pasha is hard to find. Its on a main street, Univeristy, near Rice. However, its in an old house with minimal street frontage and the street repairs and townhome construction are completely blocking it's westbound approach. The other gotcha with Pasha is that there are 4 parking spots in front (more in the back but noone knows how to get to them). No worries for me because I walk there, its only a mile from the subway stop and the big trees along University make the Houston heat almost bearable for walking.

I've been twice and twice I've been impressed. The menu is comprehensive and very well-priced. The service is casual but efficient. The decor is quirky but inviting; partly blood red deco, otherwise token Turkish items and generic Middle Eastern touches.

Pasha is super busy during the week and at night which is why I consistently go on Saturday afternoon. Last time I went it was me and two older Turkish men in the restaurant. They spoke Turkish and true to their Turkish roots they could not stand that I was at a table by myself. They talked and talked to me, they questioned and laughed. I could barely understand them but I think they felt they did their duty of entertaining the party of one. This time it was me and a table full of Muslim ladies. Odd - I was expecting them to converse in Arabic or some foriegn language but I got chicken-fried southern English. The other interesting aspect was that they were all black ladies. I've learned to expect the unexpected in Houston.

Muslim Ladies

Pasha has every dish honed to perfection. The hummous is thick and creamy with just the right garlic and lemon kick. The dolmas are dense and flavorful even without the yogurty dill sauce that comes with. The Iskeden Doner ( thinly sliced beef cooked in a garlicy tomato sauce then served over chopped pita) is awesome! Portions here are Texas sized. I can never eat a whole meal, I have to bring at least half home with me (although this time I gave the to-go box to a homeless guy in the Medical Center)

Pasha is now a staple; if you come to visit me in Houston, I will make sure you visit it at least once.

Turkish Coffee

2325 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 592-0020

Labels: ,


Blogger suzy said...

When I come to visit, this place is definatly on the list. Sounds wonderful. I think I will make some baklava while I wait

11:25 PM

Blogger Jim said...

This and Frenchys fried chicken, your total Houston experience! :)

6:14 AM

Blogger Ryan Charisma said...

honestly, I've never had Turkish food, but I do find the mens attractive(ish).

10:08 AM

Blogger Jim said...

And theres such good Turkish in NYC too, Ryan (food and mens) :)

7:54 PM

Blogger Michael said...

Cultural advice #1: don't order Turkish Coffee in a Greek restaurant. My grandma did that once. Never did get the coffee....

5:33 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Oh yeah Michael, thats a culinary and cultural faux pas for sure, lol :)

8:42 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home