Before I left for Turkey, a friend of mine told me I had to go to a restaurant called Doy Doy in Istanbul. Since he hadn’t been to Turkey in a couple years, I took him seriously. It’s not often that someone remembers the name of a restaurant they went to in a foreign country while traveling the world, even one with a name so memorable as Doy Doy.

I was told that I could find Doy Doy behind the Blue Mosque, which isn’t exactly a small building. In fact, it’s hard just to tell what the front of the mosque is, let alone the back. I encircled the building before I found a cobblestone street that I hoped would lead me to Doy Doy. I rounded a corner, and there in bright yellow stood a building with a sign reading Doy Doy. I finally made it, but would it live up to the expectations?

As I gazed at the menu, everything looked glorious. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted until I found the Doy Doy Mixed Plate, as mattering of just about everything meaty the chef could cook. I asked whether there were any vegetables and the waiter replied, “salad.” I asked for it without that nasty pile of greens, and soon enough the stack of meaty happiness arrived.

I set to work in unveiling the edible Jenga puzzle set in front of me. On top, I found two rolls of fresh-baked pita. As I lifted them up, I discovered two pieces of pide, one covered in a tasty minced meat and the other with cheese. Removing these revealed the beautiful underworld of the Doy Doy Mixed Plate. I saw lamb and beef meatballs, a chicken wing, seasoned rice, a single lamb chop, chicken and beef kebaps and a grand dollop of yogurt. The beauty was only slightly tarnished when I glanced at a couple of grilled tomatoes and rapidly removed them from the plate.

I quickly went to work on food, mixing and matching different meats with pita, pide, yogurt and rice. The end result was a stomach filled to the brim and a great smile on my face that made me forget completely about the dastardly tomatoes that had once squatted on my plate. If you ever find yourself in Istanbul, Doy Doy is a must. The price is great (about $10) and the food will not let you down.

Overall: 9.5 out of 10 Benjukus

Originally written for unvegan.com