Halikarnas Restaurant, Egirdir, Turkey
Five Maudies – Highly Recommended
First off, breakfasts in Turkey are unbelievably good. Better than American and English breakfasts and I love bacon, sausages, grits, and eggs. But, what we had in Turkey was simply devine and far more healthy. The best breakfasts we had were at the Urkmez Hotel in Selcuk and Halikarnas in Egirdir.Halikarnas Restaurant is part of Choo Choo Pension, on the far island in the south part of Lake Egirdir, connected to the mainland by a causeway. We also stayed at the Choo Choo Pension and ate virtually all our meals at their restaurant, it was that good. We normally had breakfast and dinner, skipping lunch.
Choo Choo is a strange name, we thought, until we found out an American had helped fund the pension in exchange for the third floor being available to him anytime he wanted. His nickname is Choo Choo. The pension itself is owned and run by a family and it has seven nice rooms. I highly recommend it to anyone and it is in the perfect location. People from Europe and Turkey were there. Egirdir is off the normal tourist routes. Just how we like it. The owners are wonderful, as are all the staff.
Halikarnas has an indoor portion for colder months, but we never ate in there. We always spent our time on the terrace
right next to the lake. Beautiful breezes, lovely views, a wonderful place to chill out with a drink, or have a meal. You could swim right next to the terrace and we did.
But, this review is about the breakfasts here. In July, it was the height of the farming season and everything, and I mean everything, was local (well, maybe not the coffee and sugar). Every morning, there were some basic things that never changed and an egg dish made a different way each morning for variety, I guess.
There were cured black and green olives that were devine (I don’t like typical US olives). They were dry cured with olive oil and spices, the black ones, my favorites, with nicely wrinkled skins. None of the olives were pitted.
There was always two or three types of fruit. Fresh whole apricots, watermelon, and honeydew melon are what I recall. There was always freshly baked bread and butter that was incredible. Fresh squeezed orange juice and plain yogurt were two of the other staples. I just love the Turkish plain yougurt. I never saw the sickly sweet fruity yogurts that we get in the grocery store in the US. I didn’t want to.
Then there were the egg dishes. One day we had a round omelet type thing that had Turkish hot dog/sausage slices cooked in. I have to admit I was not crazy about the “hot dogs,” but they were pretty good with the egg. Another egg dish was a philo dough type layered dish that was made with eggs. That was very nice. It wasn’t exactly a quiche, it had more thin layers of baked dough.
Let’s see, what else. Always preserves for the bread. Oh yeah, every breakfast had fresh ripe off the vine tomotoes and cucumbers. The tomatoes were incredible. The only way to get tomatoes like this in the states is grow them yourself or get them at a farmer’s market. And there was always the soft, white cheese, pretty mild with a toch of salt, a fresh cheese. What a breakfast, these kinds of breakfasts are going to be a tradition from now on back home.