I dread to think how much money we've spent over the years on this boat and it also amazes us how many people we speak to who have never spent any money on this boat because they're 'not sure if they fancy it.' Obviously, if you're vegetarian, a big fat fish in bread (balık ekmek) from Popeye's boat is not going to appeal to you very much - but for all you meatatarians out there, if you've never been to Popeye's, you're missing out.
Popeye Balık EkmekPopeye's boat is permanently moored on the corner of the harbour where the canal flows into the sea near the entrance to the Tuesday market in Fethiye. 4 lira* will get you a half bread with a battered fillet of whiting (mezgit), tomato, onion, rocket leaves, a drizzle of lemon juice and salt. And trust us when we say it's a taste sensation. If you sit on the boat, you get a tub of pickled chillies as well - a great addition to your lunch. These sandwiches are amazing and we have one at least once a week. A walk to the Tuesday market usually involves a discussion about whether we're going to have gözleme in the market or a fish butty (balık ekmek) on Popeye's boat. If we plump for the gözleme, the fish butty never misses out because we always manage to make up for it by going for one on another day.
If you're not into bread, they do a plate of fish and chips. And if whiting isn't your thing, they also do mussels in bread. Most of the customers, though (school children and workers on their lunch hour) tend to go for the good old balık ekmek. About 50 metres further along the harbour, there's another boat selling exactly the same food at exactly the same price and we'd hazard a guess that it all tastes exactly the same - it's just that we're creatures of habit and ever since we moved here, we've always gone to Popeye's.
(Update 18/10/2012 - A Balık Ekmeği (fish in bread) now costs 7 TL - but they seem to have grown in size, too.)