329 North Harrison Ave
I drive past Bosphorus restaurant every week on my way to teach at Chinese school, but it was our first time eating there. Inside, Bosphorus is decorated with posters of Turkish landscapes and artwork, painted pottery and blue-and-white glass evil eye medallions. (Being classicists, we joked about how to warn off the evil eye.) The coffeemaker and a silverware caddy are visible to patrons, like a diner’s prep station, and you can also also peek into the spotless kitchen.
Our area of North Carolina is mostly chains, convenient at times, but facelessly interchangable with everywhere else. Bosphorus, with its mix of diner efficiency and cheerful exotic decor, stands out with of character and warmth, amid mandatory flair and planograms from corporate office.
We ordered a mezze platter,which came with delicious warm bread. It reminded me so much of the grilled bread from Muslim Noodles. The main difference was that Muslim Noodles bastes the bread with a tasty spicy oil concoction, but Bosphorus serves a tasty spiced oil as a dipping sauce. I spent so much time in China cooking Western food, but there are a few Chinese dishes I miss, and grilled bread is one of them.
I really like vegetarian choices that are filling meals, not token salads or the old replace-meat-with-a-portabello-mushroom standby. Also, there were no stupid artichokes on the menu!