Annalisa Bandalera is a very knowledgeable “foodie” who is an expert on foods from around the world and all the Open Markets throughout the State of Oaxaca.   I attended one of her “Market” lectures at the library and when this event was offered I immediately signed up.   She grew up in a small town in Maryland with parents from the Philippines and Italy. I assume that is where she learned her Spanish language.

Oax-Turquía Dinner
USD $15 or MXN $270 (both accepted)
January 23, 2016 7 p.m. (sold-out)
January 24, 2016 2 p.m.

Set Menu

Turkish Mezze

Kuru Paltican Dolma – stuffed dried eggplant which I, lovingly, hand carried back from my last trip to Istanbul.

Gavurdağı Salatası – Salad of Criollo tomatoes finished with pomegranate syrup and pecans.  It is quite possible to make pomegranate syrup, but currently is not the season for the fruit, so another item from Istanbul.  Pomegranate syrup has been a life changer. 

Salatalık Maydanoz Salatası – Cucumber Parsley Salad

Labneh Balls – Herbed yogurt balls.  Not quite Turkish, but from the region, and this is fusion!  Yogurt plays a large part in Turkish cuisine and the meal would not be complete without a representation.

Mezze accompanied with pide – homemade Turkish flat bread

Main Course:

Izmir Köfte – pork meatballs served with potatoes, peppers and carrots.  Izmir is a region in Turkey that is well renowned for its gastronomy.  There are as many varieties of köfte as there are of mole, or as some say, as many varieties as grandmothers cooking them, respectively.

Barbunya Pilaki – Turkish Baked Beans spiced not spicy ayocote beans slow cooked in a traditional Oaxacan cazuela. 

Accompanied with Basmati Rice – Corn doesn’t quite go with the meal, so I’ll go with rice from outside the region, and call it artistic license.

Sütlaç – Rice pudding
Includes: Agua del día and Turkish tea (another item, lovingly, hand carried from Istanbul).  
Mexican craft beers and mineral water available for purchase.
Service not included. 

The meal is gluten free apart from the Turkish Pide and meatballs, and there will be  gluten free options available.  Please advise in advance if you would like a gluten free menu.

Some menu items may change due to availability of criollo ingredients.  Additionally, the meat will be hormone and antibiotic free.

I was booked for the Saturday evening dinner.  I took the bus to Llano Park where I was impressed with a   Espresso-mobile Cafe on three wheels…very efficient but no time to try it out.

       Annalisa’s apartment was up on the hill above the Santo Domingo Plaza that was packed with young people doing their thing.  You remember that…don’t you?

           I struggled very slowly up the steep hill until I reached her street and noticed a couple wandering around lost like me.  Her number was 109 but there are 109’s on both sides and up and down the street.  She said she would add decoration to her’s so when we saw a lighted Star at 109 we assumed it was her’s.  It wasn’t but a kind Mexican pointed us in another direction where Jack, his wife and I discovered a 109 with bells attached to the door!  We rang and were met be Annalisa who welcomed us into her lovely apartment all set up with a table for 8 and one for 5 persons.

        My friend Bob, who I play Mexican Train Dominoes with, was there with his wife and a couple he has know for 40 years.  We opened our wine, found our seats and were introduced as Annalisa served us with some Jamaica drink to accompany the meal.  The attendees were from Yonkers, Queens, San Francisco , Denver, Boston, etc…there was a ER Doctor, Food Coop Director, but mostly retirees like me. 
           The first course Appetizer that is listed on the menu was EXCELLENT.  Annalisa brought out a platter of warm “pide” Turkish flat bread just out of the oven that we passed around.  I took a photo of the Mezze but it never registered on the camera??  The apps were served side by side in a bowl….


         Just as our entree was being served, a chair broke that the lady next to me was sitting in.  I gave her mine and got a stool for the rest of the meal.  The ER Doctor immediately dispensed some medicine from a plastic bag he carried for emergencies. 

 The Chef, in her kitchen,  preparing to serve the Sutlac , rice pudding with chopped nuts.  It was a great meal and lots of fun.  I packed up what was left of my wine and caught a taxi back home and right to bed.  Full moon night would have been perfect except it was in the 50’s and has been the last few days…without heat it can be uncomfortable at times for us Arizonans!

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