Photos and Words by Lindsay Smith
Think about what you eat on a typical day. If you’re anything like me, your typical daily diet consists of foods like salads, veggies, pizza, chicken, different snacks, fries, sandwiches…the list goes on and on. But the list never really gets too exciting. It doesn’t have any foods that jump out of the page. They’re not very interesting. They’re not very enticing. But they’re safe. There’s no exotic, creative, or ethnic foods that play around with new flavors. I have a routine that I like in my food. I have a comfort zone when it comes to food. In fact, a lot of people do. Many people love food, but many people fear it too. I’ll admit I’m definitely one of those people. Most people have their favorites that they know they like, whether they’re picky or they just like to stick with what they know. But it gets boring after a while. But do we take the chance? Do we try something completely new? Or do we just stick to what we know and stay comfortable there? I decided to go out on the edge. In terms of what I usually eat, this was really crazy.
Saray Restaurant. It’s a cozy little place located in Packard’s Corner, just beyond BU’s West Campus where the street curves to the left. At first glance, it’s a tiny little hole in the wall crammed in between a lot of other small ethnic eateries on the same corner. But I didn’t look it over.
I was intimidated by it. Turkish food was the furthest away from what I usually eat. So what did I do? I tried it. And it was delicious. Obviously it was totally different from the burger and fries that I’m used to munching on when I eat out, but it was a better experience filled with better atmosphere, better quality food, better flavors, and a better familiarity with and appreciation for an ethnic food from another country! All in all, it was fantastic and this place is highly recommended—which is saying a lot coming from someone so set in her comfort zone of food.
The restaurant welcomes its customers with a friendly and intimate atmosphere. The lights are dimmed and the small tables are set nicely with white tablecloths. It’s a comfortable small size in the restaurant—not too tiny.
The menu was filled with foods that I had never heard of before—ranging from lamb and ground chicken kebabs to vegetarian dishes to various dips and spreads served with different types of bread. Intimidating? Yes. Delicious? Extraordinarily. Any person who likes to eat would love the food at Saray, no matter how familiar they are with Turkish, Middle Eastern,
Middle Eastern, or ethnic food or how often they eat it.
Now I’ll get to the food. To play it safe, I ordered a Tavuk kebab, which is great for first-timers like me who don’t want to adventurously dive into the whole ethnic experience just yet. It consisted of succulent char grilled chicken, slightly salted white rice, an interesting side of tangy red cabbage, and a juicy grilled tomato wedge. The ingredients were all fresh and extremely tasty. I could have eaten this meal ten times in a row. The flavors were out of this world, the textures balanced each other very well, and the colors of the plate gave it an artistic appearance. Along with this dish, I enjoyed an appetizer of babagannuj, spinach tarator, muammara, and hummus all on delectable pieces of doughy, chewy bread. I regretted that I had never eaten any of these foods ever before!
Finally, I topped my meal off with their sumptuous and savory baklava, a flaky pastry soaked in honey, and my taste buds were delighted! This was one of the best meals that I had eaten in a long time. It took me out of an American style restaurant with sandwiches and fries and flew me overseas to a restaurant in Turkey! To make things even better, the service was excellent. The waitress came back every few minutes while we ate, and after the food was ordered it came out in a short amount of time. BU students definitely need to get there and try it for themselves. This all came so unexpectedly from the little restaurant that my eyes casually passed over every time I was up past West Campus.
There’s one last point to make…one that is often the first thing that comes to mind when college students think of going out to eat—price. How much is it? The average price of an entrée at Saray Restaurant is around fifteen dollars. It seems a little on the high end for a dinner, but the quality is worth every penny. And if that’s a bit too steep, the portions can definitely be split which would bring it down to a friendlier cost. Furthermore, the appetizers are just as filling and can all be split as well. It’s definitely a place to bring a group of friends so you can try a little bit of everything and split the cost in the end. You can’t beat it—trying many new foods at a low cost! May as well! And paying is easy—both credit cards and cash are accepted.
Dissatisfied with and entrapped in your own food comfort zone? Get out of it! Afraid to try something drastically new? Don’t be. You don’t know what you’re missing out on! Middle Eastern food like the Turkish food at Saray Restaurant the perfect food to start with. There’s something for everyone there. So get over to Saray Restaurant at 1098 Commonwealth Ave. Leave your food comfort zone and try something new! It’ll open up a whole new door for you and your food. If you don’t know where to start once you get there, you can’t go wrong with Tavuk Kebab. Want to try a little of everything? Get the cold appetizer plate. Got a sweet tooth? Go for the baklava. Three simple ingredients make this a great restaurant: great food, great atmosphere, and great service.
Address: 1098 commonwealth Ave. Boston, ma 02215
Phone number: (617)-383-6651
Hours: Monday thru Sunday 11:00 am-11:00 pm.
Pick-up and delivery available.