Ah Sultan.....hard to believe we hadn't been back in over a year. There was a time when we'd make the 20+ mile drive each way a couple of times a week. Like Latin Chef, Sultan inspired us to travel to Turkey, which we loved. The food at Sultan was delicious enough, that it took two trips to Istanbul before we found a place where we thought every dish eclipsed Sultan. I guess the memories managed to last for over a year.
Sultan is a wonderful example of the benefits of blogging. We'd never have found the place were it not for FOY (Friend of Yoso") "KenB" (hope you're doing well), whose email got us to visit, and revisit, many times. One of other wonderful benefits and I'm sure other Food Bloggers will agree, is that once in a while we're contacted by Producers or Story Editors from various food shows and are able to share these wonderful mom-and-pop restaurants. I was lucky enough to be able suggest, along with many others I assume, Sultan along with the next two revisits I'll posting on, to those shows.
Finally, after over a year, we returned........
We got there pretty early. This is a little mom-and-pop place, so when it gets busy, you just need to relax, and go with the flow.
The Missus and I decided to share a combination meze plate.
There is of course, those cooked to death green beans which the Missus loves. The patlican salata, smokey, with hints of cumin and oregano, antepezme (acili ezme), mildly spicy-tangy-sweet, the shakshuka with tasty potatoes, eggplant, and red pepper. Along with some lavas....sorry, forgot the photo, but hopefully you've read previous posts.
We also ordered the "mixed grill", Karisik Izgara, which is enough, along with the mezes, for the two of us.
We times things pretty well. You see, we've postulated that the cooking is much better during Ramadan, and this visit adds to that belief. The chicken kebab (tavuk sis) so tender and moist, full of flavor, the standard issue Urfa(ground beef) kebab, delicious and moist. Only the Kuzu Sis seemed a bit too mild, as in not gamey enough for us. The rice was fluffy the haydari (yogurt dip) seemed much more creamy than we recalled. In fact, this whole meal just seemed a step better than previous visits.
Perhaps time does make the heart grow fonder, or maybe we were just missing Istanbul? The reason is probably out of grasp, but that doesn't really matter. The point was, after having so many disappointing meals recently, this was the perfect meal, at the right time. Just what I needed. We gotta get back again soon......
Sultan Kebab & Baklava
131 Jamacha Road
El Cajon, CA 92019