Story and pictures by Hal Goodtree.
Cary, NC – The Downtown restaurant scene in Cary is always changing. The new “in” place to eat lunch: Bosphorus. The food is fantastic, the service and experience are classy and comfortable and the price is right.
Lunch at Bosphorus
I’ve been wanting to get together with my friend and District D Town Council Representative Gale Adcock for some time.
“Let’s eat downtown,” she said. “Ever eat at Bosphorus?”
Bosphorus is tucked into the Northside Station shopping area on Harrison Avenue right near the railroad tracks.
The restaurant serves Turkish and Mediterranean food. Many of the dishes are reminiscent of Greek food, but have a Turkish twist and a different name.
I had the Gyro Platter (pictured above). The salad was very fresh, the meat tasty and the bulgar pilaf a treat.
A Nice Room
A big part of the dining experience is the room. Bosphorus is small – I’d call it cozy. Gale and I sat in a booth that afforded privacy but still had a sense of being in a place with other people.
The tablecloths are white and the food is served on china with cloth napkins and cutlery.
It’s a family affair at Bosphorus. Gale told me the dad is in the kitchen and the son serves the customers.
The son did a fine job – attentive when we needed him, low key, friendly. No rush, no fuss.
Bosphorus served up a couple of nice touches for lunch. The meal starts with a basket of crispy home baked Turkish bread. Gale described it like a pizza crust.
After the meal, our waiter brought us a glass of tea. It was just the right exotic touch to make the meal special.
Gale would not let me buy her lunch. Some nonsense about being an elected official.
The tab came to $8 a piece.
Open for Lunch and Dinner
Bosphorus is open for lunch and dinner and offers take-out.
The menu has about 20 warm and cold appetizers. Foodies will enjoy the variety of authentic Turkish cuisine including:
- Cigar Bourek (Sigara Boregi) Feta cheese mixed with parsley, chopped onions rolled in Special filo Dough and fried. Served with marinara sauce.
- Falafel Vegetable patties made of Chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, onions, spices and cooked in vegetable oil. Served with tahini sauce and tomatoes.
- Fried Eggplant & Green Pepper (Patlican Kizartmasi) Fried Eggplant and green pepper, served with marinara sauce and yogurt with garlic.
- Sauteed Liver (Ciğer Sote) Chunks of Beef liver’s sautéed with onions, garlic, salt, herbs and crushed pepper.
- Sea food Guvec (Deniz Ürünleri Güvec) Shrimp, Calamari, daily fresh fish, sautéed with mushrooms, tomatoes, green or red peppers, garlic, special spices, topped with mozzarella cheese and baked in oven.
There’s also salads, kabobs, Beyti and about a dozen Turkish pizzas.
The food is fresh and nutritious with lots of interesting uses of vegetables. The menu is fairly extensive – something interesting and tasty for every taste, I’d say.
A Bit of Geography & History
The Bosphorus is the connecting waterway between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea in the western part of Turkey. The Sea of Marmara connects to the Mediterranean through the Dardanelles Strait.
The waterway comprising the Dandanelles, Marmara and the Bosphorus are considered the diving line between Europe and Asia.
Since forever, the Bosphorus has been the crossroads of the world. Ancient civilizations grew up along this primary route for trade, war and ideas. 3,000 years ago, Jason and the Argonauts sailed the Bosphorus in pursuit of the Golden Fleece. The Trojan War took place on the banks of the Dardanelles.
Istanbul is on the southwest bank of the Bosphorus. Before it was called Istanbul, the city was known as Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman empire. And long before that, it was called Byzantium and was the capital of the eastern Roman Empire.
That history is important, because all those people needed to eat. They brought with them cosmopolitan tastes and the best dishes in the world.
You can enjoy that historical food legacy today, in downtown Cary NC, at Bosphorus.
You can see the menus and more on the Bosphorus website.
329-A North Harrison Ave
Cary, NC 27513
Open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Sundays open for dinner. Closed Monday.