After the first rain of the fall, during which I stayed inside all day, I was itching to get out when the next day was sunny. I called Gabi, and she was about to go downtown, so I joined her. She wanted to check the exchange rate for Euros, and I needed to refill my bus card, so we had goals.
I finally got a photo of Hadrian’s Gate that I’m happy with. (Of course, I wasn’t happy with it before I edited it, because it was underexposed. But fortunately, there’s an app for that.) I also caught this shot of a Roman soldier on a break from defending the gate:
Many of these statues populating downtown Antalya are ancients doing modern things, like talking on cell phones. This is one of the few that seems to really fit its surroundings.
As long as we were in the neighborhood, I decided to give the new Diesel Diner a try. They’ve made extraordinary efforts to look American (that is, the America of the 1950s) so I thought this might be the place to fullfill my hamburger fantasy.
The foods I miss most here are not bacon and ham, although the absence of pork products is occasionally frustrating. What I’d really like is a good burger joint and a Chinese restaurant. Not having had decent Chinese food anywhere outside of China except the U. S., I’m not holding my breath on that one. But in a country where one of the most prevalent dishes is “kofte”, i. e. meatballs, I’ve been nursing the hope that someday restaurants here would stop serving those frozen Pinar hockey pucks and realize that if they just make their kofte a bit bigger, leave out the cumin, and serve them on a bun they’d have a decent hamburger.
Alas, it was not to be. I shouldn’t be too critical, because the burger was actual meat instead of the usual frozen thing. But it was tiny; the bun was twice the size of the burger. Now, maybe it was my own fault for ordering the “medium” burger instead of the “Diesel Burger”, but I don’t think a 2:1 bun to burger ratio is appropriate under any circumstances.
Once I took away most of the bun and the overpowering pickle I could sort of taste the burger, but it was still a tiny, overcooked thing that left much to be desired.
As Gabi pointed out, the fries weren’t anything to write home about either. They weren’t as bad as some frozen ones we’ve had, but they were nowhere near as good as the crispy fries we get at the Baki Beach restaurants, which are hardly fine dining establishments. At 10 lira for this meal (plus 3.50 for a coke), this isn’t great value in a town where lunch specials abound; you could get kofte, fries, salad , soup and ayran for 10 lira.
Oh well, at least the check was cute. Checks in Turkey are always delivered in some kind of container. Here’s Diesel’s version:
It will be interesting to see how Diesel does in the future. With Leman right next door (and packed, as Gabi pointed out, while Diesel was empty), they’re going to have to give the food as much thought as they’ve put into their interior design if they plan to stick around.Google+