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[MSP] Chowdown report: Midtown Global Market II

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What can I say: round-up a baker’s dozen of Chowhounds, give each a handful of cash, scatter them loose in a culinary playground, and you never know what tasty morsel will land on your plate for sampling! We had so much food circulating around the table that I don't think I will come close to listing it all. But, I enjoyed it!

Here's my attempt at listing all the dishes we sampled:

~Chicarron, Bymore Meats
~Amazing array of sweets (if someone can name all or some of them, please chime in but the closest approximation is that they were like many variations of baklava to my untrained eye and palate), Holy Land Deli
~Vegetarian platter (including humus, falafel, dolmas, pita, and some other things I can’t name), Holy Land Deli
~Italian hoagie sandwich, Jakeeno's Trattoria
~Inca cola, Cosecha Imports
~Meat momos, Everest Café
~Vegetarian momos, Everest Café
~Deep fried tilapia platter, La Sirena Gorda
~Curried vegetables, Safari Express
~Al pastor huaraches," topped fresh radishes and crema” (the number 3) OR topped with cheese and avocado slices (the number #6) , Taqueria Los Ocampo
~Steak huaraches," topped fresh radishes and crema” (the number 3) OR topped with cheese and avocado slices (the number #6) , ~Taqueria Los Ocampo
~Coconut cream cake, Starlight Café
~Upside down pineapple cake, Starlight Café
~Goat, from (I’m guessing, can someone please confirm?) Everest Café?
~Deep fried sambusi, Starlight Café
~Lefse, Café Finspang
~Lots of other dessert items, some chocolately, some almondy, and another that translated as “dreams”, Café Finspang

P.S. I STILL couldn't find the free parking; I hear it's on the West side of the Market, not the East? Can someone confirm this, please?

As always, it was lovely to meet everyone, including the two amazingly adventurous chowpups. Please chime in with your impressions! Thank you!

Here's my post initially suggesting the chowdown: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

~TDQ

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  1. The free parking is definately on the west side of the building - there are meters there, but they aren't enforced from 5-8PM. There was a sign by the lot, but the wind had blown it over.

    The goat was not from Everest - it was barbacoa from Bymore meats. (And, also one of my favorites at the Chowdown.)

    1. the goat was from Bymore meats (barbicoa chiva, or something close to that). Man was that good!

      I was pleasantly surprised by the hoagie from Jakeeno's, given that the pizza they had on display looked pretty sad.

      Loved the huarachas!

      Actually, was pretty pleased with everything that I tried.

      Passed on the Inca Cola - too much sugar for me.

      Free parking is on the West side of the building in the Transit lot area. Could be evenings only - didn't really look, and have only been there in the evening.

      Sounded like the ramp on the east side was free on weekends. I have never gone in on that side, so don't really know for sure.

      15 Replies
      1. re: djohnson22

        Turns out the gates were up at the East ramp; something we only discovered after we paid $3.25 for parking at the machine in the ramp. (After years on the West coast, this price didn't seem phase me, but the gals in line for the ticket machine behind us said, "Man that's expensive." when they heard it was $3.25. Also, the machine wasn't accepting charge cards, so I think people were in that uncomfortable position of having to fumble for cash or to break a $20.) The parking ticket machine that you pass as you exit the East side of the building was mysteriously unlocked, door swinging open. Next time, we'll try parking on the West side of the building.

        I too liked almost everything we tried. The Inca Cola is definitely an acquired taste; I picked up just for fun because it reminds me of a good friend who grew up in South America who buys Inca Cola everywhere he can find it. Bright yellow, sugary sweet pop with a hint of bubble gum.

        I loved the huarachas, both the #3 and the #6, particularly the al pastor. I liked them equally, but the #3 (which was the one without the avocado) was cheaper, so I'd probably pick that up next time. I can't remember who said it last night, but someone said of the huarachas, "These inspire me to make a vow to try everything made of masa."

        The bread on the hoagie was delicious. Almost like a Dutch crunch. Did anyone notice if they sell loaves of those and if they bake them themselves?

        I also loved the goat! Very tasty. And the curry veggies. Yum!

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          They do sell the bread, although I think it was New French Bakery par-baked bread. (The bread, meats, and cheese made a pass through the pizza oven before all of the fixin's were added.)

          I think the key to that sub was that they use pretty high quality meats and cheeses. While I was waiting for the hoagie, they finished off a fresh pizza. I was expecting it to look a lot better than the ones that had sat in the case for a while - it didn't.

          They do have a few pasta dishes, I'll have to try one of them next time - those are cooked to order. Interestingly, the hoagie was only partly done to order - they had the bread with meats and cheeses wrapped in saran wrap in a refrigerator. When I ordered it, the owner unwrapped it separated the meaty half from the cheesy half, and put it through the oven. When it came out of the oven, she added the lettuce, tomatos, onions, seasonings, oil, vinegar, etc. (It should also be noted that while it was really good, it was also about $7. For only 4 bucks more, you can get the Talapia from La Sirena Gorda....)

          1. re: Danny

            Hey, does the tres leches cake no longer come with the talapia? I don't remember seeing it on our overloaded table last night.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              I don't think the tres leches cake ever came with the tilapia;it just seemed like it since we had both in our first chowdown. Also, I recently tried the tamales at La Loma and must say the La Loma at Mercado Central makes better
              tamales; unless you're looking for pretty spicy ones, in which case Global Midtown La Loma wins out. I was surprised they weren't all the same since they seem so consistent at
              Mercado Central.

              1. re: faith

                Interesting about the La Loma tamales being better at Mercado Central. Do you think they actually make the tamales onsite at both MGMkt and MC? I was assuming they didn't make them at either location, but offsite somewhere and just brought them in and put them in the steamer trays.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I suppose I should try the Global La Loma one more time before
                  deciding on their tamales. And yes, I also would have figured
                  that they all were made at one spot; maybe someone had a
                  heavy hand with the chilis that day. Also the cornmeal was
                  kind of soft, not firm as I have had at Mercado Central.

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Their main kitchen is over at 38th and Cedar. Sorry I missed this chowdown - sounds like you guys had a great time!

                    TK

                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                  A piece of Tres Leches cake was included at the first chowdown (and was then supplimented by a second piece from the Mexican Bakery)

                  We didn't get it this time, nor did I get it the last time I ordered one (although that time I did get a free fancypants iced tea).

                  My guess is that they sometimes offer a tilapia "special" with ane extra thrown in.

                  1. re: Danny

                    One can never have too much fancypants iced tea, I say. What made this particular iced tea so fancypants?

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      It was probably the fancy hibiscus iced tea that the owner
                      brought over with my meal after I had said I didn't
                      need a drink. It was quite beautiful(red) and delicious,
                      not sugary, nicely fruity. I felt quite pampered by the
                      experience...

                      1. re: faith

                        Faith, I was asking Danny about his fancypants tea the last time he went to MGMkt (which, I assume, was a time he went on his own, not a chowdown.) Did you also get some fancypants tea from La Sirena Gorda on one of your visits to MGMkt? Was that at the first MGMkt Chowdown or some other time on your own. The hibiscus sounds lovely--I'm always on the lookout for iced tea that doesn't have a lot of sugar.

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Your Highness-
                          Sorry I was unclear, yes I was talking about my own
                          recent trip to Sirena Gorda, and assumed my tea was the
                          same as Danny's.

                          1. re: faith

                            Gotcha! Well, as I said, I'm always looking for alternatives to the bottled drinks at MGMkt, so I shall seek that tea out next time I'm there.

                            Thank you!

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: faith

                              You assume correctly. My fancypants tea was the hibiscus tea.

                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                      The Tilapia did not include dessert, but I had a special one night at La Sirena Gorda recently that did include tres leches.

              2. One more thing: since everyone was on their own to buy beverages, I didn't list them in the summary above. If you wouldn't mind chiming in on any beverages you had that were extraordinarily good, bad or otherwise, that would be great. I picked up some bottled Mexican pop (tamarind and mango) at Cosecha Imports, but, later, when I was picking up the al pastor huaraches from Taqueria Los Ocampo, I noticed they had horchata. Does anyone know about that? Is it fresh or from a mix? That sort of thing.

                Also, I think someone last night order bubble tea from Pham's Deli. I'd be curious to hear about that!

                Thank you!

                ~TDQ

                2 Replies
                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I had the mango lassi from Everest Cafe. Found it amazingly spicy - hints of nutmeg and cinnamon (and possibly cardamom). A bit too rich for me - well, the 12oz serving anyway. Some chowhounders mentioned that at the previous outing, the sample cups were just the perfect size.

                  The Danish Kringla (elsewhere, I have seen it spelled kringle) from Cafe Finspang was awesome. Buttery, flaky pastry with a deliciously fatty custard filling.

                  I second all the shout outs for the sambusi: served piping hot from Starlight Cafe, it's hard to beat.

                  Dairy King

                  1. re: Dairy King

                    DK, great to see you here on the board!

                    I thought the kringla was fantastic. And those sambusi, I don't know what it is about them that makes them so appealing, but when served piping hot, they really hit the spot.

                    Sounds like there's a growing consensus that mango lassi is best shared. :) Do you remember if comes in a size smaller than 12oz?

                    ~TDQ

                2. Here's what I tried that was new to me

                  I loved the goat and chicarron from Bymore Meats. The goat was lip smacking good.

                  Inca cola smells *exactly* like Bazooka bubble gum (right down to the undertone of dusty cornstarch). Kind of tasted like that too. It was a fun experience, but I wouldn't get it to satisfy my thirst

                  The deep fried tilapia platter from La Sirena Gorda was all that it has been made out to be. Deeply flavorful fish. I'll be getting this again.

                  The huaraches were fantastic. The al pastor probably edged out the steak filling by a bit. My favorite part was the luscious corn flavor from the masa. I'll second the vow of trying everything made with masa.

                  The deep fried sambusi from Starlight Café were also fantastic. Lots of spice with an undercurrent of heat. And these were made fresh for us so they were perfectly hot and crispy. Yum.

                  I had my first taste of lefse and liked it. I started to wonder what it would taste like warmed or pan fried, but that's probably off the path of traditional.

                  Sadly, I had to skip the hoagie. I was just too stuffed.

                  The desserts from Café Finspang were a lot of fun to shop for and eat. Though they were pretty messy to divide since many of them were made of meringue. The Sara Bernhart will be a repeat. It was a sugar cookie with chocolate meringue coated in chocolate. Very decadent.

                  I had so much fun and loved putting faces to names. I can't wait for the next outing.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Uisge

                    "I had my first taste of lefse and liked it. I started to wonder what it would taste like warmed or pan fried, but that's probably off the path of traditional."

                    yep.. that sort of talk would elicit fist-fights in some quarters. Lefse is meant to be (only) eaten with butter and, if you like, jam or sugar rolled up. (according to the stout traditionalists). :-)

                  2. Uisage--your post makes me want to go back and try it all again.

                    I agree the huaraches al pastor edged out the carne asada.

                    The Sara Bernhart was just gorgeous. Also, while you were busily ordering sweets from Cafe Finspang, I noticed they not only had lefse, but also lutefisk! Now I know I can send visitors who want to try everything Minnesotan to MGMkt! And, they can get lefse & lutefisk from one side of the aisle and turn around and get maple syrup, hand-harvested wild rice, and blueberry syrup from the other. (Birchberry.) They can even wander around the corner and buy something lovely from the Hmong man. Sadly, there's no Hmong food, just beautiful dolls and embroidery and such.

                    Were you the one who tried the bubble tea last night? If so, can you comment on that at all?

                    ~TDQ

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Just a note, the lutefisk sign at Finspang listed a price for a package ... from which I intuit that the purchaser would need to take it home and cook it.

                      Which probably a wise decision on Finspang's part.

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Sure - I got a bubble tea from Phim's. It was sweet and slushy. I got the green tea flavor, which is usually not as strikingly sweet as the fruity flavors. They went light on the bubbles (I prefer lots). I'd get it again, for certain, but I still like Bravo's best.

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          I got an almond bubble tea. The fellow combined powdered flavoring, milk and ice cubes in a blender, then tipped a quarter-cup of bubbles into the bottom of a plastic glass before pouring the ice-milk over the top.

                          The bubbles were more chewy than I expected, the drink more tame.

                          It's be one of those things I'll use to convince myself that I have just had dessert ... though there was also a good share of sweet stuff on my plate last night!

                          Favorites: Barbacoa chivo, because it clearly had a crust but was still just right in the tender/toothsome category. Sambusi, with a wonderful mix of garlic and coriander to enhance the ground beef filling. My very first al pastor. Tilapia, though it is just not possible to eat dish that with a plastic fork. Chicarron, if only because this sort of gathering is the only only only place where I would have tried, as Doug called it, "deep fried pork fat." Steamed momos that were as good as those at Everest on Grand. The first taste of the surprisingly hot green sauce that came with the vegetarian special from Safari Cafe, over the coconut rice.

                          Items that were not so strong: Holy Land's pickled vegetables were missing something, as though they were just brined in salt water. Couldn't get excited about that spinach pie. Must not have gotten the right taste of the pineapple upside-down cake -- it was okay, but not rapturous.

                          PARKING!?! What the heck. The gates of the east-side parking ramp are up after 8:00 -- no way to know that until after you've had your credit card refused & need to feed cash to the machine. Don't want to tempt fate by assuming that late-night parking in the ramp is free.

                          1. re: KTFoley

                            Darn! I was waiting for the upsidedown ode to pineapple cake. I suppose I could be satisfied with ode to barbacoa chivo or ode to al pastor.

                            I would say that the Holy Land vegetarian platter was the weakest dish of the evening. I thought the humous was so smooth and bland that it seemed to me to be sans both texture and taste. I must have missed the pickled vegetables, unless you're talking about what was tucked in that sort've flatbread thing, which, sadly, didn't do much for me. However, Holy Land Deli's vegetarian platter did change the course of my life last night in that someone was introduced to falafel --and liked it! Woo hoo! That means we can go out for falafel now.

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              I feel sheepish admitting that it didn't make my socks roll up and down. This is especially true since the ones who tasted it last time around were so enthusiastic, everything else from Starlight was a highlight, and it each chowdown so far has featured this fruit.

                              It could be that by the time we tried it I was just. too. full.

                              Next time, maybe the empanada de piña from the Mexican bakery in the corner?

                              1. re: KTFoley

                                That's right! We were meant to have the empanada de piña from the Mexican bakery on the corner--the one that had the tres leches cake that The Chowish Lurker liked so much! Well, that will be for III. (Honestly, I don't remember the pineapple cake from MGMkt I.)

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  right... because we didn't get the pineapple upside down cake at MGMkt I. I don't recall what kind of pineapply thing we may have had on that particular chowdown.

                        2. This was just the perfect way to do things at MGM. I tried more than I ever would have been able to on my own, and got out of my comfort zone, that being the amazing fish tacos at La Sirena Gorda.

                          I third or fourth of fifth the huaraches. That place also does some amazing veggie taco thing I almost always get. Also that coconut and cream cake from Starlight (I think) was amazing and not something I'd order for myself, as I'm not the biggest coconut fan. The downsides, for me, was the curry from Safari. While I really liked that green sauce (and all the green sauces, what was that very hot one? With the huraches, right?) the vegetables were frozen from a packet, which always turns my stomach. And they were watery, not thawed right. And carrot "coins" (shudder).

                          And while I always like Holy Land, I kinda find that all that middle eastern fried stuff tastes the same to me and is likely easy to make. I mean, it's good, but it didn't knock my socks off like the tilapia and, I'll say it again, the hauraches. I forgot about the three leche cake from the Mexican bakery. I always get that when I go...I didn't even notice its lack last night. I was the one with Alvin, the one-year-old, who loved the spinach pie, for what it's worth.

                          Oh, and I had this cane sugar and lime soda from the Mexican import place, which was wonderful. The lime tasted very fresh (although obviously it wasn't). Oh and I was pleasantly surprised by the momos, the things I brought to the table.

                          I'd expected Nepalese food to be bland, and now I realize I was getting it mixed up with this Tibetan place I sometimes went to in New York, but these things, while probably frozen (yet it took them several minutes to make, so I'm not sure....but they'd have to have been, right?) were wonderfully spiced. Not too overwhelming, but fragrant, almost, with good chewy "skins." I'll obviously never be a food writer. I can't convey here how decadent the experience of all that food, and all of it so wonderful, was. And Alvin got to touch a cow's head at BIll's Produce and break dance with another baby in the hall...so all was well.

                          Other complaint was the parking. DIdn't find the free parking and forgot to bring my ticket with me for that crazy pay machine on the way up. At the very least, they should have signs that remind you to freakin' remove ticket from car. (I always handily keep it tucked behind the visor). I had to schlep the kid back to the car to get the ticket after seeing that little pay machine, which in no way explained itself (and no signs around to tell you, either) and it didn't take credit cards and could have put the fear of God into me when it told me my card had been "denied" had I not known all was well with the card.

                          Anyhoo. Why can't they straighten out parking? It was pretty dead in there last night. Concerningly so, frankly. It's wonderfully communal. We watched Irish step dancing on the way out and, like I said, break danced in the hall. I hope hope hope this place makes a go of it.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jeanmt

                            Lots of the kids seemed to enjoy the Irish dancing. Very fun. I don't think they all get to touch a cow's head, though, so that must have been extra exciting.

                            Ohoh, it looks like I was overly-zealous in my admiration of the veggies from the safari place: I liked the curry. And the super hot sauce that went on it. But, I guess I wasn't really paying attention to the quality of the veggies themselves.

                            ~TDQ

                          2. A big thank you to TDQ who organized this event and provided utensils and the "money" bowl.

                            DK

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Dairy King

                              You're welcome. Thank you, and everyone, for coming, for sharing their thoughts, and for being such adventurous great sports. All I did is made some arrangements--MGMkt provided the chow, and the rest of you provided the great company. I do think something magical happens in a gathering of chowhounds, in spite of the chaos.

                              Note to self: next time, bring plastic utensils, in addition to the plastic plates, cups, and the camping knives (for splitting food into "sample" portions.)

                              We still have to find a way to check-out the new Chang Bang! I saw lots of people sitting at the bar as we were leaving. I was so tempted to stop in...if only I weren't so full.

                              ~TDQ

                            2. I remain utterly confused by the continuing confusion about parking. I so I provide the following link: http://midtownglobalmarket.org/?q=vis...

                              The parking lot indicated by the P west of the market (notice that north points to the left on this map) denotes the surface lot where there is free parking on weekends and evenings. The meters are not enforced during this time. I hope this will be helpful :-)

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Cassandra

                                Thanks for the link. According to the link you provided, here's what the words regarding the ramp say: "Parking is available in the Midtown Exchange Ramp on 10th Ave S just north of Lake Street"

                                When I look at the map in the link, 10th Ave S is not even pictured in the map, although that map does clearly show a ramp between 11th and 12th labelled "Midtown Exchange Parking Park."

                                So, is there a ramp with free parking that's not pictured on the map in the link? Or are the "words" wrong?

                                And, frankly, even if the words are wrong and should actually say, the ramp between "11th & 12th" my personal experience has still been in conflict with this information. I've been to that ramp on a weeknight, between the hours of 5pm and 8pm, more than once, (probably in excess of a half a dozen times), and, if it's indeed the multi-level cement parking structure directly across the street from the MGMkt you cannot exit without a paid parking ticket. We once sat in our car at the exit gate in the ramp for 10 minutes behind someone who kept trying to feed their parking ticket (unpaid) into the parking machine with no success. We finally got so frustrated, we went and found a security guard who helped those people on their merry way. However, we needed to use our PAID parking ticket to get out.

                                Now, at the Chowdown, this one time and this time only in my experience using this same parking ramp, the exit gate was completely lifted up, and, in fact, you could get out without having paid your ticket. Unfortunately we, and at least one other person that night, had already paid at the machine anyway on our way out of the building to the ramp, so it didn't make a difference. We had paid, even though we didn't need to.

                                So are there multiple ramps? Have they made a change? Am I misreading the information in the link? What gives? We have a lot of confusion about this---it's not just one person.

                                P.S. Next time, I'm going to park at the unenforced meters at the lot to the WEST of the building.

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  I can see how the text which accompanies the map is misleading. I should mention that the free parking is in a surface lot, not a ramp. I've never parked in a ramp there.

                                  1. re: Cassandra

                                    That seems to be the way to go, yes. I'm going to try that next time. The other folks at the Chowdown had luck with that.

                                    When you read the text in the link carefully, it does indeed say that only the metered surface lot is free on weeknights (the ramp is only free on weekends) but you can certainly see what the confusion is. We come from the east--it's natural for us to assume the "free" parking across from MGMkt that we keep hearing so darn much about is in the ramp that we pass on our way from the East, especially since the signage indicates it's parking for MGMkt. We didn't even know there was a lot to the West.

                                    I think they could benefit from some substantially better signage. And a corrected map on their website.

                                    WHEW. :)

                                    ~TDQ

                              2. I would have to agree that the Veggie Platter from Holy Land was by far the weakest dish of the evening -- and it was my pick! I thought the spinach pie was terrible. The crust was not phyllo dough which I thought was odd when I got it, but I was being optimistic at first. Then I tried it. Not only was the dough bad, but so was the filling. To me, the spinach tasted burned or maybe just over done. Either way it was not good. It also seemed to be missing feta. However, I did like the falafel and hummus. They were not the best in the Twin Cities, but compared to the spinach pie, they were outstanding!

                                My favorites of the evening were the veggies from Safari Express, the lefse and all the deserts! I was soooo happy to have lefse, it reminded me the lefse my grandma used to bring for Christmas. The junk you can buy in the grocery stores in the TC is just appalling. Usually it is bland and too salty. This lefse was made with care by someone that actually knows how to make appropriate lefse. The only problem with this lefse is the way it was prepared. Since it was pre-rolled and then wrapped in plastic wrap, the ends got a little dry.

                                The Safari vegetables were great! They had a nice spice to them that made them just lovely.

                                The deserts yummmmy! I liked them all so I really can't pick my favorite. But I think my top two were the pineapple upside down cake and the baklava.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: The Chowish Lurker

                                  I, too, thought the Holy Land falafels and the hummus were good. Actually, I missed them at the Chowdown (chasing my two-year old down to the play area), but we had the "Sheiks Platter (vegetarian) for Four the previous week at the Central Avenue Holy Land. We agreed with your assessment of the spinach pie.

                                  TCL: who do you believe has the best of these in the Twin Cities? Anyone else want to chime in with picks for best falafel and/or hummus?

                                2. I'm wondering, is there a difference between spinach pie and spanikopita? We went to Mediterranean Cruise Cafe in Eagan on Friday night and got spinach pie as part of their appetizer sampler. It also was not made with phyllo dough but more like a puff pastry. We were surprised but it was quite good and not greasy.

                                  I've heard good things about Sinbad's and Christo's for mideastern fare but have never been. Anyone want to chime in?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: katebauer

                                    Spanokopita is always made with phyllo. "Spinach pie" can be made with ordinary pie crush, yeast dough, puff pastry, etc. Lebanese spinach pies are spiced differently than Greek ones - not dilly, often without cheese, sometimes with cinnamon. I like both if they are well made. Seems to me Gardens of Salonika does a good job with the Greek ones. I've gotten used to the pies at Emily's Lebanese, but they are nowhere as good as the ones I used to get at Byblos in Andersonville in Chicago.

                                  2. Ah! Thanks Teamkitty for clarifying the difference between spinach pie and spanokopita. I guess I didn't realize there was a difference because at Athens Cafe they seem to use the terms interchangeably - and their spinach pie/spanokopita is always with phyllo.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: The Chowish Lurker

                                      Spanakopita is a Greek word - the English translation is "spinach pie". Other Mediterranean and Arab countries make spinach pie, too, but don't call it spanakopita and don't use phyllo dough.

                                      Me, I love Ispanakli Burek - the Turkish version of spinach pie. Sure wish I could find it in a restaurant around here...

                                      Anne

                                    2. They used to have that kind of bürek at Black Sea a couple of years ago. Perhaps they just serve the cheese one now? You can buy the proper "yufka" - Turkish kind of dough, similar to phyllo but a little thicker and with a slight taste of salt - at the Caspian Market on University. It keeps a very long time in the fridge. I like working with it more than phyllo, as it doesn't stick together and gives a bit more substance. You can get it in rectangular sheets, or pre-cut into triangles for sigara böreği, cigar-shaped rolls filled with feta cheese.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: teamkitty

                                        Oooh, sigara böreği is/are another of my passions! In fact, all Turkish food is. I'll have to check the Black Sea for börek - they didn't have it the last I was there (but that was a long, long time ago). And I'm due for another visit/research trip to Istanbul Bistro, too.

                                        Heaven forfend that I actually cook my own food!

                                        Anne

                                        1. re: AnneInMpls

                                          With the premade yufka it's really easy! Yufka is much more forgiving than phyllo. I usually keep a bag in the fridge to use up left-over feta. My Turkish friend's mum used to make them for breakfast - with her homemade yufka. Need I say that I am seldom (read: never) that ambitious.