Dinner in Ankara

I had my eye on the Kebab House near our hotel since the morning. No one at our hotel spoke any English, so I figured it would be safe to eat our next meal at this relatively crowded and inexpensive hole in the wall restaurant. The people sitting in the restaurant looked content with their kebab sandwiches in hand and kofte plates on the table. So Giovanni and I strolled in and decided to ask for the menu. Everything was in Turkish with only a few photos, so I pointed to the doner kebab sandwich I thought was lamb called cigeri.

The waiter asked me if I was sure, and I nodded when he pointed to the third sandwich on the list. Giovanni ordered his usual chicken doner. The sandwiches arrived and they looked yummy with sauce dripping. I took a big bite and started chewing. I convinced myself that it tasted fine and continued eating. After the third or fourth bite, I decided that the meat tasted funny. Then it clicked. I should have known that cigeri sounded an awful lot like jigar which means liver in Farsi. I was eating a veal liver doner sandwich!!

So I took a bite out of Giovanni’s sandwich and took a swig of soda to wash the taste of liver out of my mouth and left half of the sandwich uneaten. I felt bad when the waiter asked if I wanted him to wrap up this half to go and I just said no thank you. He looked a little confused and apologetic, probably realizing I had made a mistake with my order. Regardless, that was the first time I ate liver, knowingly or not 🙂

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