Im no stranger to a savory breakfast. My daily morning routine in Rome consists of a slice of pizza bianca from Roscioli or rossa from Forno Campo de’ Fiori. But this week in Antep, Şemsa and I took things to a whole new level. In this southeastern Anatolian city, soups and lamb parts of various types are on the breakfast menu. If you can’t handle it, you should probably just sleep in. We checked out some of the classic spots–which open super early–and indulged in the local delicacies.
Metanet. This place is known for its beyran, which I wrote about here. This spicy lamb soup joint, which was recommended to us by both of tour food gurus for this trip, Tuba Şatana and Emre Kutlar, was so good, we went back twice and enjoyed a warm early morning breakfast on the sidewalk outside this Antep institution. The second time around I ordered my beyran extraspicy and I’m still feeling it. The deep heat and acute pain were intensified by little bites from a hot green pepper served on the side.
Kelebek. This place near the Çınarlı Parkı is also known for its beyran, but we found the broth lacked depth and, while it wasn’t bad, Kelebek’s version paled in comparison to Metanet’s. Instead, the kelle/paça stole the show. While in other parts of Turkey paça refers to lamb trotters, in Antep it is the fat and tissue pulled from the skull of a boiled lamb’s head. We had it two ways: sautéed and in soup. The sautéed paça was practically life changing. Şemsa had the bright idea of soaking the bread in the glistening fat and filling it with chunks of flesh. Bingo.
Ciğerci Ali Haydar. I really dropped the ball on this one. I had big plans of waking up this morning to eat liver at this legendary spot next to the Antep Castle. It is open 3 hours a day, max, from 5am until the liver runs out. It didn’t happen. You can read all about this breakfast place on Tuba’s blog here and if it’s open Sundays I may be able to sneak in a visit before my 7:30am flight today…inşallah!
UPDATE: I got up at 5am but didn’t make it to the ciğerci…still full from dinner the night before:( next time!