By Roger Walk
If you are up to experience somewhat exotic food and drink being accompanied with something extra for eyes and ears, the Anatolia Grill on Iron Bridge and Chalkley roads is a place to consider.
Mustafa Ozkaya and his crew of friendly waiters will offer you an enticing selection of typical Turkish appetizers and entrees. These may cause you to feel the sun and exotic smells of Anatolia, the part of Turkey that is located on the Western extension of the Asian continent. The freshly baked flat bread and the plate with flavorful Turkish olives placed on your table upon arrival, give you an idea of the treats to come.
After sampling the excellent and authentic appetizers such as Falafel with hummus, the Turkish doner and kebab main dishes of their beef, chicken, and lamb varieties will send your taste buds on vacation.
As onwner Mr. Ozkaya explains, “we prepare our dishes with Turkish ingredients freshly every day. Our mixed European house salad is always freshly tossed in olive oil. And our rice is prepared with authentic Turkish flavors and spices.”
And if you left some room for dessert – the rice pudding or baklava will send you right into culinary heaven. Turkish tea or coffee, music and imagery in the small and cozy restaurant add to the flavors of the Orient and Occident.
On special occasions such as the annual New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day parties, the excursion to Turkish food and culture is even further extended by belly dance performances and Turkish music. The local crowd of party guests can’t wait to join in on the makeshift dance floor for traditional and not-so traditional Turkish music.
At this year’s New Year’s Eve party, Aela Badiana’s (Gloucester) skillful belly dance was a splendid highlight to enchanted young and older party guests alike. The standing ovations and traditional tossing of dollar notes on the dance floor were followed by hours of Turkish group dances in circles and processions, as well as classical rock music provided by Tony Kohlhepp of Symphonic DJ Services.
At midnight, the dance action was shortly interrupted to welcome the New Year with a sparkling wine for adults and hugs all around the restaurant before it continued to rock into the early morning hours. What a great way to hang out and experience multi-cultural celebrations right at our doorstep.
Anatolia Grill is located at 12131 Chalkley Rd., Chester and open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.