Living life in Fethiye on a budget means we’re always on the lookout for places where we can grab a quick snack – or even a meal – for as little money as possible. We all know Turkey is not the super-cheap country it used to be but it’s still possible to eat out and keep enough money to one side for a couple of extra Efes Pilsen – or other little treats.
Over the next few weeks, whenever we eat out anywhere and the food costs less than 10 lira (around £4) per head, we’ll do a post on it. In the past, we’ve already mentioned the balık ekmeği (fish half-bread); currently coming in at 5 lira each with a glass of çay thrown in for free. Gözleme is also a good, cheap and filling snack. Expect to pay about 5 lira for a mixed meat and potato gözleme. Other fillings, including sweet fillings, will be cheaper.
But, let’s get on to today’s cheap eat. Tucked away behind the PTT (Post Office) in the centre of Fethiye is a tiny ocakbaşı called Öz Gaziantep. (Ocakbaşı is a place where all the meat is cooked on an open barbecue grill.) We’ve been there for lunch a couple of times recently because the food is good and it’s cheap. This is also the place where we get the big glass of ayran for 1 lira. (Click the link to see the photo.)
Öz Gaziantep is the perfect place to begin this Cheap Eats series because, bar one or two dishes, every meal on the menu is below 10 lira. Every kebap they do is 4.5 lira and it’s a little bit different to the other kebap places in Fethiye because they don’t serve döner meat. Choices include Adana (spicy minced meat), liver, heart and chicken şiş amongst others and they’re all served as dürüm (dürüm is a wrap).
You also get a little spicy extra with your chosen kebap that goes by the name of çiğ köfte. Çiğ köfte is another post for another day but very quickly, it’s fine bulgur wheat kneaded with spices and red pepper paste and shaped into fingers. This is served on a lettuce leaf and you squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top.
All the meat dishes at Öz Gaziantep can be ordered as a larger plate meal and as we mentioned earlier, most of these still come in under 10 lira. At 4.5 lira, the dürüms are not huge but they’re enough for lunch and make a tasty change when you can’t possibly face another döner kebab. If you’re very hungry, you could always order soup as a starter. At 3 lira a bowl that means you get 2 courses for 7.5 lira. Add 1 lira for your ayran (they do serve other soft drinks) and your whole lunch still comes in under 10 lira. Bargain!
**Update 2013: This Fethiye eatery is no longer open – but nearby Iksirci Tezcan is a great alternative if you fancy a cheap tost for lunch…