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Istanbul Market & Balkan Taste - Mount Prospect

Istanbul Market & Balkan Taste - Mount Prospect
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  • Istanbul Market & Balkan Taste - Mount Prospect

    Post #1 - November 9th, 2005, 3:13 am
    Post #1 - November 9th, 2005, 3:13 am Post #1 - November 9th, 2005, 3:13 am
    Istanbul Market is a medium-sized Turkish mart in the wonderfully multi-ethnic Colony Square Shopping Center in Mount Prospect, which also holds Cuisine of India, Pad Thai, Kampai floating sushi bar and teppanyaki restaurant, a Jewish-style deli and an Italian liquor store.

    The night we visited, the market was full of people stocking up on Ramzan specials. The front of the store has a pastry counter, with Gulluoglu Baklava that you package yourself, and shelves of breads. In the rear, a deli counter offers Yoruk brand packaged halal basterma, rubbed with paprika and fenugreek; plus some sausages; cheeses; and olives.

    The grocery shelves stock assorted sizes of bulgur; lentils; dried tomatoes; strings of domalik kuru biber, dried peppers; jars of pepper paste; spices; teas; jams; sour plum and pomegranate syrups; and various personal-care and household supplies. Freezers hold frozen halal meats.

    There seemed to be only one woman minding the place, both at the deli case in back and at the register. She was very friendly, but harried, so we didn't try to talk to her much, and waited patiently while she met the needs of an older lady in a black babushka.

    We bought some basterma and a salami. I didn't much care for the seasoning of the Kayseri-style basterma; I've had basterma in Turkish restaurants I liked better. And next time I'll try the packaged cheese; the kashkaval from the deli case went moldy very fast. We haven't yet tried the salami. But the two kinds of olives we bought, wrinkly oil-cured ones and sour green ones -- after the grocer urged some samples on us -- were very good. I also bought a bottle of isot, black chili pepper flakes, that I have no idea what to do with, but they have a good flavor and I'll think of something.

    We also bought some baklava (fine -- nothing special -- the fresh product from Turkish Cuisine and Bakery is much better), a couple of cans of Cola Turka (better than Pepsi) and a bottle of sour-plum syrup. This last elicited great approval from the grocer at the cash register. I'm kicking myself that I just smiled and nodded back instead of asking her what she uses it for. The use I had in mind -- mixing it with sparkling water -- made the refreshing chilled beverage I thought it would.

    Those of you lamenting the move of Best Turkish Food from Devon to East Dundee, may find this shop a reasonable substitute, somewhat nearer and with other interesting food destinations nearby.

    Istanbul Market
    847/290-9740
    http://www.istanbulsupermarket.com
    Colony Square Shopping Center
    2324 S. Elmhurst Road
    Mount Prospect, IL 60056

    Best Turkish Food
    847/844-3411
    165 Prairie Lake Road
    East Dundee
    http://www.bestturkishfood.com
  • Post #2 - November 9th, 2005, 9:17 am
    Post #2 - November 9th, 2005, 9:17 am Post #2 - November 9th, 2005, 9:17 am
    I'm going back by about 10 or 11 years but I believe there used to be a Japanese noodle place specializing in ramen in this same strip mall. Any remembrance of this? Wish I knew the name, but just remember being one of the very few non-Japanese there and had noodles with roast duck for a crazy cheap price. Also recall a possible Swenson's ice cream parlor way way back.
  • Post #3 - July 12th, 2009, 8:41 pm
    Post #3 - July 12th, 2009, 8:41 pm Post #3 - July 12th, 2009, 8:41 pm
    For those of you early birds, I found out quite unintentionally(another story) that this place is open at 8am on Sunday. They seem to have a lot of items(thoroughly covered by original poster) that I haven't seen in other similar type grocery stores.
  • Post #4 - July 13th, 2009, 6:35 pm
    Post #4 - July 13th, 2009, 6:35 pm Post #4 - July 13th, 2009, 6:35 pm
    electric mullet wrote:I'm going back by about 10 or 11 years but I believe there used to be a Japanese noodle place specializing in ramen in this same strip mall. Any remembrance of this? Wish I knew the name, but just remember being one of the very few non-Japanese there and had noodles with roast duck for a crazy cheap price. Also recall a possible Swenson's ice cream parlor way way back.


    If this is the shopping center I think it is, the restaurant was/is Wonton Gourmet which just moved across the street. I still stop in when in the area for the shrimp wonton and bbq pork noodle soup.
    Coming to you from Leiper's Fork, TN where we prefer forking to spooning.
  • Post #5 - February 22nd, 2014, 8:52 am
    Post #5 - February 22nd, 2014, 8:52 am Post #5 - February 22nd, 2014, 8:52 am
    I've been popping into Istanbul Bazaar for awhile now, normally to purchase some sujuck if I don't feel like driving to the Lawrence/Kedzie area markets. I hadn't been for a bit and noticed some mention of new owners.

    While the items/brands in the market look to be about the same, what's new is Istanbul Bazaar is now serving a limited menu of food for take out.
    Doner $6.99
    Pide $6.99
    Lahmacun $2.99
    Simit $1.50
    Sumsa $2.40

    I had the doner. The meat they are using has a different bite & less spice than the avg gyro meat being served in the Chicagoland area. This doner comes wrapped in thin lavash style bread, w/tomato, onion, lettuce, sauce.

    I look forward to trying the Pide & Lahmacun sometime for lunch.

    Istanbul Bazaar
    2324 S ELMHURST RD
    MT PROSPECT IL 60056
    http://www.myistanbulbazaar.com/
    Open 9am-9pm everyday
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #6 - February 28th, 2014, 1:57 pm
    Post #6 - February 28th, 2014, 1:57 pm Post #6 - February 28th, 2014, 1:57 pm
    tried the Lahmacun yesterday afternoon for a snack. While I loved the hot/fresh crispness/texture of the "Turkish pizza" straight out of the oven, but I was not fond of the flavor. I can't be more specific but flavor seemed off compared to the lahmacun I've had in Chicago & Istanbul.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #7 - December 28th, 2015, 9:00 am
    Post #7 - December 28th, 2015, 9:00 am Post #7 - December 28th, 2015, 9:00 am
    I received an email from Istanbul Market. It appears they now have a stone oven in which they are preparing Lamacun and Pides. I hope to stop by soon to try.

    Also making hot GOZLEME & POGACA

    They also have posted that they have recently stocked:
    Fresh Hamsi (anchovy): $9.99/lb
    Fresh Istavrit: $10.99/lb
    Fresh Cinekop:$15.99/lb
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #8 - December 28th, 2015, 11:35 am
    Post #8 - December 28th, 2015, 11:35 am Post #8 - December 28th, 2015, 11:35 am
    Funny that this thread popped as I just had lunch there last week. I've shopped the store a few times, purchased pide, lachmajun, bulger, and spices before, but this was my first meal-meal there. From my very un-trained eye, I would say it seems very Turkish to me. I mean, everyone is speaking Turkish (I think, I once talked to a truck driver who had stopped in for stuff there on his way cross-country and he was Uzbek), and everything passing by looks very hand-made, including the beef noodle soup I and other had.

    I have this *thing* that Atlas rolled noodles are not really hand made. I mean what makes hand made noodles great is the texture that comes from hand rolling and hand slicing. Cranking by hand is not the key element. I've generally thought that the best places around town these days for noodles/pasta/dumplings are Eastern European places, but I'll now add Turkish to the list. This soup was all about the toothsome noodles, less the rather tough beef.

    It's funny, also the original post from LAZ. This strip mall is still crazy interesting, but now it's like a Serbian place, a Bulgarian deii, an Indian buffet, the other Asian buffet, I think a Thai place. I find it hard to wretch myself from Boston Seafood when in this area (or not go to this area for Boston Seafood), but I keep on seeing/believing there's a lot more to sample.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #9 - December 28th, 2015, 2:03 pm
    Post #9 - December 28th, 2015, 2:03 pm Post #9 - December 28th, 2015, 2:03 pm
    Vital Information wrote:It's funny, also the original post from LAZ. This strip mall is still crazy interesting, but now it's like a Serbian place, a Bulgarian deii, an Indian buffet, the other Asian buffet, I think a Thai place.

    The Thai place isn't worth the think. Terrible service, and nothing that isn't ameri-thai on the menu.
    It's still got Kampai and its attached sushi bar, and from my sister's report, Kampai is still pretty good -- it was one of the only teppanyaki places around when I was a teenager, a stalwart of the Entertainment coupon books, but had fallen off the radar.
    The Indian place has a decent buffet, we've never ordered from the menu.
    Haven't tried the other spots, but I'll give the cafe part of the Turkish shop a try.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #10 - December 29th, 2015, 2:22 pm
    Post #10 - December 29th, 2015, 2:22 pm Post #10 - December 29th, 2015, 2:22 pm
    JoelF wrote:
    Vital Information wrote:It's funny, also the original post from LAZ. This strip mall is still crazy interesting, but now it's like a Serbian place, a Bulgarian deii, an Indian buffet, the other Asian buffet, I think a Thai place.

    The Thai place isn't worth the think. Terrible service, and nothing that isn't ameri-thai on the menu.
    It's still got Kampai and its attached sushi bar, and from my sister's report, Kampai is still pretty good -- it was one of the only teppanyaki places around when I was a teenager, a stalwart of the Entertainment coupon books, but had fallen off the radar.
    The Indian place has a decent buffet, we've never ordered from the menu.
    Haven't tried the other spots, but I'll give the cafe part of the Turkish shop a try.


    You say all that, but for me, the one other place in the mall that actually looks like going to is the Serbian place, but maybe Serbian food is just another thing of mine :!: 8) :roll: :wink:
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #11 - February 17th, 2016, 2:48 pm
    Post #11 - February 17th, 2016, 2:48 pm Post #11 - February 17th, 2016, 2:48 pm
    Sitting in traffic through the annoying construction at Oakton and Elmhurst Rd, I glanced in the shopping center on the northwest corner that includes Kampai, an Indian spot and an Sushi joint. Lo and behold, there's a sign for Balkan Taste. Since I wasn't moving anywhere in traffic, I did a quick look up on my iPhone. The Yelpers seem to like it and the menu looked interesting so I pulled in.

    The menu consists of "Fast Bites" - cheese and meat pies along with a couple of sandwiches. The "Grill" has lots of meaty options including meat plates, assorted skewers, cevapcici, chicken breast, and salmon. Beer, wine and spirits are available. They also have Mexican Coke and Fanta. There was a cooler filled with homemade cream puffs and cakes.

    They have a rotating list of daily specials. Today's was a red pepper stuffed with ground beef and rice served on top of mashed potatoes. That was my choice and it was a good one. A hefty red pepper filled as described served over excellent mashed potatoes. It was accompanied by two mini loaves of freaking amazing homemade bread. It took great restraint for me not to eat both loaves.

    Based on my unscientific observation, I was the only gringo in this place during my lunch. The place isn't huge - maybe 12 tables. 'XRT type music playing in the background.

    According to my friendly server, this family run place has been open for about nine months. I will most definitely be back to work my way through the menu. This would be a great option for an LTH Northwest Lunch Group.

    Balkan Taste
    2354 S Elmhurst Rd
    Mount Prospect, IL 60056
    (740) 422-5526
    Last edited by Dave148 on February 18th, 2016, 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #12 - February 18th, 2016, 9:30 pm
    Post #12 - February 18th, 2016, 9:30 pm Post #12 - February 18th, 2016, 9:30 pm
    I just bought some seafood from Boston Fish Market for tomorrow night's dinner, when I noticed that Istanbul Bazaar is going to have fresh anchovies tomorrow Friday Feb 19, which are just killer when grilled. So FYI to anyone who enjoys fresh anchovies.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #13 - April 12th, 2019, 2:43 pm
    Post #13 - April 12th, 2019, 2:43 pm Post #13 - April 12th, 2019, 2:43 pm
    Dave148 wrote:According to my friendly server, this family run place has been open for about nine months. I will most definitely be back to work my way through the menu. This would be a great option for an LTH Northwest Lunch Group.

    Balkan Taste
    2354 S Elmhurst Rd
    Mount Prospect, IL 60056
    (740) 422-5526


    I've visited a couple of times: first time, alone, two days ago, with friends, so we could try more stuff. Still a lot of things to try, but had a few new things. For the three of us, we ordered the meat platter for 2, the "fast bite" cheese pie, and a couple of salads.

    The meat platter (Mesano meso 2 -- they also offer it for four) included civapcici, pork chops (smoked and then put on the charcoal grill--sensational), spiced chicken, a Serbian-style hamburger, and pork skewers, served over chopped onions with a blob of kaymak (a mixture of butter and sour cream and maybe farmers cheese). This combo is normally served with french fries, but we asked for mashed potatoes instead--because they have great mashed potatoes. The salads were the bright, delightful, thread-thin cabbage salad and the Sopska salad (tomato, onions, feta cheese--even better than it sounds). The cheese pie, Gibanika, is kind of like noodle kugel but with no sugar at all. Served with unsweetened yogurt. Nice, but not the part of the meal I'd go back for. They also gave us a basket of bread -- which, like everything else, is made in house. (Our waitress said that ketchup and mayo are the only things they buy, rather than make.)

    So, even though I've gotten back there on my own, I'm certainly open to Dave's suggestion that we have a lunch there at some point. Dandy meal. They are still offering mileage rewards (both United and American), which is nice but concerning, as it suggests to me that they might be struggling. So hope more folks go.

    https://www.balkantaste.net/

    And then, after eating, one can walk two doors down and shop at the Bulgarian/Balkan grocery store. (Or to the Indian grocery store or to the Turkish grocery store.)
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #14 - May 22nd, 2019, 11:20 pm
    Post #14 - May 22nd, 2019, 11:20 pm Post #14 - May 22nd, 2019, 11:20 pm
    The LTH north group went May 21 for dinner, and luckily only got 9 items plus bread, so all pictures will fit in one posting.

    I forgot to take a picture of the Mousaka till it was almost gone, and forgot to take a picture of the sausages completely...luckily one was on somebody's plate in the background of a photo of something else...

    DSCN0116.JPG Burek -- meat pie
    DSCN0117.JPG Gibanica cheese pie
    DSCN0118.JPG bread
    DSCN0119.JPG Paprika --roasted peppers

    DSCN0121.JPG Kupus Salato -- cabbage salad
    DSCN0122.JPG Cvekla -- beets
    DSCN0124.JPG Sobaks Salata -- tomato/cuke/onion/feta
    DSCN0127.JPG Musaka
    DSCN0128.JPG Dimljena svinjska krmenadla - Smoked pork chop
    DSCN0129.JPG Cevapcici sa kajmakom --ground beef links with onion and kaymak
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #15 - May 23rd, 2019, 8:50 am
    Post #15 - May 23rd, 2019, 8:50 am Post #15 - May 23rd, 2019, 8:50 am
    Nice pictures!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #16 - May 23rd, 2019, 4:26 pm
    Post #16 - May 23rd, 2019, 4:26 pm Post #16 - May 23rd, 2019, 4:26 pm
    Thanks for the "replay," diversedancer. Looks as tasty as it was.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com

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