The History of Turkish Restaurant in New York
Not only is New York home to the grandeur Statue of Liberty, but it also houses a variety of high-class restaurants that offer different authentic cuisines and dishes from all over the world. Due to its diversity, you can find almost any delicious dish you are looking for, from European cuisines to the best Asian foods.
So, if you are looking for authentic Turkish food that will satisfy your palate, you can definitely find it here. Restaurants in New York may come and go, but if you explore the city, you will never run out of places to enjoy your favorite Turkish meal. These restaurants offer the unique taste of flavors of Turkey without having to book a costly plane ticket.
In this article, we will explore the history of one of the leading Turkish restaurant in New York – Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine Restaurant.
The Humble Beginnings of Ali Baba
When he was 20 years old, Ali Dogan, the Founder and Owner of Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine, moved to New York from Turkey in 1996 with his 4 siblings and both parents. With only $300 in their pocket, school was never an option, so Ali became a dishwasher to support the family. His family struggled and life was not easy. He even had to work two jobs all the time to attend to their needs.
However, eleven years after moving to New York, the Dogan’s opened up their very first family restaurant in the city. Now they have multiple locations all over New York, serving thousands of customers who are looking for authentic Turkish cuisines away from Turkey.
Starting as a dishwasher, Ali was able to learn and progress step-by-step to get to where he is today. His entire family is now hands-on and very much involved in the business. He also spends his days greeting customers, introducing them to delightful experience of Turkish food. Ali and his family now consider America home, introducing patrons to an authentic Turkish experience.
So, what makes the restaurant very popular for people to keep coming back to Ali Baba Restaurant? Let’s take a closer look at the traditional Turkish cuisine and food culture.
Understanding Turkish Cuisine and Food Culture
One of the richest and most appetizing cuisines of the world is the Turkish cuisine. Full flavor and diversity makes the Turkish food popular throughout the world, which draws influences from its very rich history. Its richness is obtained from several factors, which include:
o The different products cultivated on the lands of Anatolia and Asia
o Various interactions in history
o Geographical conditions that shaped the unique character of Turkish culinary culture
o Palace kitchens of Ottoman and Seljuk empires
The art of cooking of Turkish food has a deep-rooted past and its cuisine largely varies across the country.
Today, meals and food is a vital social occasion for many Turkish people. whether it is during religious occasions, extravagant feasts or just shared at home with family and friends, meals are always part of the society.
Turkish cuisine has also made itself known throughout the world, including the busy city of New York. Those who own Turkish restaurants in the city use specific ingredients to maintain its authentic taste and flavor that many long for.
In Turkey, people just love relishing and eating food. Most meals at a typical home in the country is like a feast. If you’re a visitor or a guest for dinner, breakfast or lunch, you can expect to experience a sincere hospitality from the people and enjoy a huge variety of people. Inviting guests for a meal is part of the Turkish family tradition and culture.
To give you a feel of their food variety or if you happen to visit New York and want to try Turkish food, here is a list of dishes you should definitely try:
A very popular Turkish dish, kebab is undoubtedly an iconic Turkish meal. Turkish kebabs are the primary meat dish with different cooking methods, depending on the ingredients. Generally, kebabs are served with greens, and bulgur rice. The different popular kebabs include Adana Kebab, Ali Nazik, Doner Kebab, Bursa Kebab and Iskender.
If you are meat lover, another specialty you may want to consider are kofte meatballs, which name wastaken from a Persian word called Kufte. It was in the thirteenth century that this was included into Turkish cuisine.
Another famous takeaway food is Lahmacun. It is a thin flat bread that is covered with one layer of spiced minced meat, and is generally accompanied by a buttermilk drink called ayran.
Vegetables make up the number 1 ingredients in majority of Turkish recipes. When it comes to vegetables, Turkey has almost everything to offer, that is why it is no surprise that they can make extraordinary meals with veggies as the primary ingredient. If you are a vegetable lover, try YaprakSarma, Turkish Meza and TazeFasulye.
Breakfast is a very important part of the meal for Turks. While it varies region to region, Turkish breakfast is the most delicious, healthiest and richest in nutrients. During summer, a lot of cucumber, green tomatoes, especially during summer and pepper are eaten, along with honey, cream milk, olives, eff and feta cheese. With added ingredients, Sunday breakfasts often turn into convivial social gatherings that often last longer than a week-in breakfast.
With legumes, vegetable and meat as primary ingredients, Turkish foods are generally soupy with some kind of stock or stew. Turkish ravioli, doner kebab, some eggplant dishes and Turkish kebabs are the main trademarks of Turkish cookery.
There are over three-hundred kinds of soup in the Turkish meal, with yogurt as the basic ingredient. Sour or sweet yogurt has become a popular ingredient in soups, which is a unique Turkish contribution to the world.
These are just a few of the many mouthwatering meals and cuisines you can enjoy at one of the most popular Turkish restaurants in the New York City, Ali Baba Turkish cuisine. With the increasing popularity of Mediterranean food in the city, the restaurant continues to flourish and serve thousands of customers from around the world.