Mediterranean cuisine gained popularity in American after Levi Strauss designed the five-pocket pita. Indulge in flavorfully adorned cuisine with today's Groupon: for $14, you get two Mediterranean entrees and an appetizer at Cafe Istanbul in Decatur and Kennesaw (up to a $35 value). Customers are responsible for the difference on meals that cost more than $35.
Cafe Istanbul's skilled culinary artisans craft a menu of authentic Turkish fare. Dining duos can share a Mediterranean appetizer such as stuffed grape leaves ($4.95) or conquer the sauced eggplant ($5.95). Send taste buds on an exotic excursion sans carry-on luggage with piquant entrees such as skewered chicken adana flavored with red bell peppers ($11.95), or inegol kofte ($10.95), which rolls lamb and rice into robust turkish meatballs . Cafe Istanbul also serves up vegetarian options, such as imam bayildi ($10.50), which stuffs chopped tomatoes, parsley, pine nuts and raisins into an eggplant envelope that ships directly to the mouth at a modest flat rate.
Vibrant fabrics and tapestries drape the rustic walls of Cafe Istanbul's inviting interior. Guests can beckon attentive servers with hookah smoke signals or lounge among soft pillows as belly dancers undulate to music designed to make the hips speak honestly.
If you only came to Cafe Istanbul to eat, you'd be missing out on half the fun. Sure, there's a whole menu of savory Mediterranean dishes, including Turkish flatbreads layered with spiced meats, onions, and peppers. (In fact, the entrees are quite diverse, ranging from a casserole baked with rainbow trout to a mixed grill with meatballs and lamb chops.) But, as the festive decor indicates, there's plenty else happening here. Belly dancers regularly perform in the dining room beneath ceilings painted with flowers almost as colorful as their costumes. And a separate hookah menu lets guests partake in flavored tobaccos, filling the room with smoke that's almost as aromatic as the burps of a dragon who just ate potpourri.