Sounds ordinary, I know. But do they look ordinary? Trust me, guys, these are anything but casual. What you didn’t get from my one-line title is that I am not talking about simple baked potatoes and waffles. You could very simply find those foods at your local diner back home. What you are not anticipating are the dozens of kiosks lining the streets of Ortaköy selling kumpir – stuffed baked potatoes, with every topping imaginable. There are even toppings you wouldn’t imagine. A few include: olives (black and green), corn, bulgur salad, hot dog pieces, pickles, red cabbage, cheese, ketchup, sour cream, and more.
Along with the wonderful kumpir that my friend Natalie and I shared for dinner, we thought it would be appropriate to treat ourselves to a waffle each for dessert. Smart choice for smart girls.
Now let me try to describe the waffle bars. Not unlike the kumpir bars, you can find hundreds of wacky and delicious toppings that the uber-friendly waffle boys will stuff into your waffle and serve you wrapped up in a packet. I tried to capture a bit of the excitement in the picture above: sauces of every kind (caramel, hazelnut, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, etc), fruit jams, nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, fresh fruit, sprinkles, candied fruit, you name it! They kindly give you a hand wipe as well to clean up after yourself.
It is definitely an experience to buy kumpir or a waffle and walk down to the water in Ortaköy at dusk and watch the Boğaziçi Bridge all lit up!