TAN TAŞ FIRIN

Pide at Tan Tas Firin in Sirkeci, Istanbul

Tan pide may lack the ethereal glow of a mountain sunrise, but it does have a stone oven and and pide, which makes the name at least half true. First though, let us straighten out a bit of confusion… is pide a Turkish pizza? No. It does not have tomato sauce, it does not have mozzarella, and it is not round. It is a combination of things cooked onto a thin dough, so in this way it does bear a resemblance. Where pizza utilized olive oil in the crust, pide uses butter. Where basil flavors your pizza, pide is generally with parsley if any herb. Both are cooked into stone ovens, which means both can be really awesome.

Tan Is not a place geared towards tourists. Their target market is local businessmen and Turkish people who have come to the neighborhood to shop for any of the assorted textiles sold all around this street above the post office museum in Sirkeci.  Thus, the prices are normal, the portions are not tiny, and while the pide may not be as good as the one in Trabzon on Turkey’s Black Sea coast, it is decent for Istanbul.

The two mustachioed ustas, or head chefs, are constantly sieving flour, mixing up dough, adding yeast started, pounding and stretching and topping and baking, they do it all from one small island next to the huge stone oven.  This bit of showmanship contributes to the meal in a way that the uninspired decor does not. Tables outside mean you can enjoy your lunch in the sun when the weather is good. Ayran, the salty yogurt drink, goes awesome with this meal.

The crust is crispy and flaky, covered with butter, and satisfying. A cheese pide costs 7 lira which is funny because two streets down in the tourist district you can buy a lesser cheese pide of the same size for 25TL at one restaurant on Hoca Pasa street which will remain nameless.

Aşirefendi Cd. no. 23/a Sultanhamam, Eminönü

212 512 8033


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