Successful as their Greensburg and Latrobe Pizza Siena restaurants have been, brothers Turgut, Fehti, and Ismet Alikaya long dreamed of owning a restaurant that would introduce Westmoreland County to their beloved native Turkey.
In September 2016, the dream was fulfilled with the opening of Anatolia in the Greensburg Shopping Center on East Pittsburgh Street.
An award-winning master chef in Turkey, Ak was recommended for the job by another Alikaya brother who still lives there. “My brother said, ‘I’ll introduce him to you and see if you can convince him to come, because he has a family and kids,’ ” Turgut says. “After I talked with (Ak), he said, ‘I’d like to put my fingerprints in America.’ He said, for him, it would be an honor to show on a daily basis what we eat.”
A red carpet leads from the front door to a display case at the rear of the long, narrow dining room. On either side, two- and four-top tables face banquettes upholstered with authentic Turkish textiles and scattered with pillows. Rugs, hammered copper plates and copper-framed mirrors grace the walls, as does a large blue glass “evil eye,” the traditional amulet that wards off evil spirits.
406 E. Pittsburgh Street, Greensburg, PA 15601
Desserts include baklava, rice pudding, custard, and baked apples. Turkish tea and coffee keep customers coming back, Turgut says, and maybe willing to try other traditional beverages like cherry juice and ayran, salted yogurt thinned with water.
Spices and other ingredients imported from Turkey provide an authentic taste of the old country that won’t be found elsewhere. Chef Ramazan Ak even insists on Turkish rice for the pilaf, Turgut says, because no American rice has quite the right flavor or texture.
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