Ayse’s Café has been serving the Ann Arbor community for over 20 years. Ayşe (pronounced “Eye-shah”) started a catering business in 1986 and Ayse’s Courtyard Café opened in October 1993. The restaurant underwent an expansion in 2004, adding on the adjoining unit and doubling dining capacity. Ayse’s brother-in-law Hasan joined the business in 2007. The food served has remained traditional Turkish home cooking.When we got there about 12 noon and there was only one other couple. The day's menu is on a white marker board over the counter. Orders are taken at the counter and brought to whereever you've chosen to sit. The daily menu was not as extensive as the online menu.
Our emphasis is on fresh, seasonal cooking and we try to use locally produced ingredients as much as possible; our menu revolves daily to reflect this and the rich diversity of Turkish cuisine. We have numerous vegetarian options and can provide gluten free and vegan options as requested.
We are thankful for the business of our many regular customers who we have come to consider part of our family and always look forward to welcoming new ones.
|Turkish coffee and pita bread|
Since I'm a huge fan of coffee/caffeine, I ordered my first Turkish coffee. I had to check with Wiki to see what this is - water boiled with ground coffee beans with a bit of sugar. The name describes the preparation, not a specific coffee bean. See article here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_coffee The coffee was served in a lovely little demi tasse cup. It was strong but not bitter, very tasty. After my reading on wiki, I knew to avoid the sludge at the bottom of the cup. From the same article, the more foam at the top the better.
With all that lamb at home in the freezer, I decided to order a lamb dish to get some more ideas. We still have 89 pounds of lamb in our freezer from our recent bulk purchase. According to wiki, lamb is not consumed in Turkey as much these days as in the past.
In some regions, meat, which was mostly eaten only at wedding ceremonies or during the Kurban Bayramı (Eid ul-Adha) as etli pilav (pilaf with meat), has become part of the daily diet since the introduction of industrial production. Veal, formerly shunned, is now widely consumed. The main use of meat in cooking remains the combination of minced meat and vegetable, with names such as kıymalı fasulye (bean with minced meat) or kıymalı ıspanak (spinach with minced meat, which is almost always served with yogurt). Alternatively, in coastal towns, cheap fish such as sardines (sardalya) or hamsi (anchovies) are widely available, as well as many others with seasonal availability. Poultry consumption, almost exclusively of chicken and eggs, is common. Milk-fed lambs, once the most popular source of meat in turkey, comprise a small part of contemporary consumption. Kuzu çevirme, cooking milk-fed lamb on a spit, once an important ceremony, is rarely seen. Because it is a predominantly Islamic country, pork plays no role in Turkish cuisine.I choose the lamb kofte served with potatoes and rice pilaf. This came with lentil soup or salad and I went with soup as today felt too dreary for a cold salad. My companion ordered zucchini-lentil stew and salad.
|Salad dressed with oil and vinegar|
|lamb kofte with potatoes and rice pilaf|
|lentil zucchini stew|
I took half of my meal home to share.
|Turkish coffee dregs|