It’s been a relatively short career, so far, our time at Sarge’s Place in Çalış. It’s not the sort of place we’d go to usually – well, we don’t live in that area, and, if we are around there, it’s usually to go Sunday food shopping at the market, followed by a hello and a catch up with friends at nearby Cafe Pazar.
The old ‘creatures of habit’ scenario. We’d walked past Sarge’s many times en route to elsewhere. We’d noticed that, from a modern building that wasn’t really looking like much of a bar/restaurant space, they’d made a really inviting, cosy-looking space…but we never went in.
Drinking At Sarge’s Place, Çalış
So, there’s always a trigger that causes that first visit. And if you know us, you’ll probably be able to guess what that trigger was. Yes, alcohol, of course! Yeah, we can get a beer anywhere but this is a particular type of alcohol. We’d bumped into a friend, one day, and he was just en route to Sarge’s Place.
“Come,” he said. “I’m just on my way there for a Gara Guzu.”
Gara Guzu At Sarge’s Place
Hmm, yes, well, you don’t need to ask us twice to go somewhere for a Gara Guzu. We like to support local businesses (Gara Guzu is brewed in our province of Muğla) and it’s not just any old beer. Any choice in Turkey is always welcome but Gara Guzu do a range. Blonde, Amber, IPA (usually in summer), and others besides.
If we’re in Fethiye centre, we always haul ourselves up the hill to El Camino for some alternative Gara Guzu loveliness. They have a full range. And now, we have a little Çalış area watering hole that can satisfy our need for a different beer fix, too. There’s a difference with Sarge’s Place, though. We’ve only ever seen 33cl bottles in the past. But here, the Blonde and the Amber are a lovely big fat 50cl bottle.
Cosy And Homely
On that first visit to Sarge’s Place, as well as feeling joyous about the alternative beer choice, we were also impressed with the interior. Owner, Sarge, did quite a hefty stint living and working in the UK and the inside of this eatery / watering hole very much resembles a cosy pub atmosphere.
Yeah, there’s some ‘lighter’ patio-type furniture – well, we are in Mediterranean Turkey – but there’s a chunky wooden bar with matching tables and benches. Big hunks of tree bark. Sarge has his own little ‘museum’ in there; a display cabinet with collectables he’s picked up over the years. Toy cars and the like. Decorative cups and mugs hang from hooks all over the bar, which is also the open kitchen. Rustic wooden doors (think posh garden shed) mark the entrance to the Ladies and Gents.
And don’t let all the polythene around the outside of Sarge’s Place put you off. It is a bit unsightly from the outside but it’s there for a reason. It protects all these lovely materials that have created this little oasis that isn’t immediately visible from the road. Sheltered in winter; cool shade in the summer. And if you want to chill out, well who cares if you’re on a main road in suburban Fethiye. You can relax on this garden furniture made from wooden pallets.
Sarge’s Place – The Food
On the menu and in descriptions of Sarge’s Place, it’s an Italian restaurant. But, the thing is, you see, we’ve come to think of Sarge’s as a pub. And, rather than it being a restaurant, we think of it as a pub that serves food; some of it Italian. That’s not meant as a put down; just the opposite, in fact. Barry’s mum has also taken a shine to Sarge’s so we come here for lunch quite often now. It’s comfortable and homely; no pretences. Sarge calls it his happy place.
Homemade Burgers For The Hungry Customer
If you order a burger, it’s homemade and sizeable! We like sizeable. Praise be, it’s actually relatively easy to get a decent homemade burger in the Fethiye area these days (Taşyaka Baba Fırın, Motto Dining along Çalış Beach, Kukina in the town centre and Çarıklı Et on the harbour, just for starters). We can add the Sarge’s version to that list.
The photo is of a cheeseburger I ordered at Sarge’s Place. On the menu, there is also a double burger as well as other burger variations. I’m so tempted by this double burger but know it will defeat me. And vegetarians, if you want the veggie burger, be hungry. It’s diameter has a good 3cms on the meaty burger above.
A Greek-style offering at Sarge’s
We keep trying to order different foods off the menu at Sarge’s just to get a good sample but the first time we ate there, Barry ordered the Greek-style moussaka (different to its Turkish counterpart). A tasty minced meat filling, layered with potato and aubergine, just as a good Greek moussaka should be. Anyway, he’s ordered this a couple of times, now. It’s been a cold winter and he can’t help himself. Tasty, wholesome comfort food!
And Some Turkish Fusion
Also on the menu at Sarge’s Places are casseroles. See, not so much pure Italian restaurant as a pub-style menu serving foods from around the world. There is an Italian slant – we’ll explain in a moment – but first, a good old Turkish güveç.
A bubbling clay pot of cheese-topped vegetable casserole served with fluffy basmati rice. A bit of fusion going on there. Apparently, Sarge’s Place does a decent curry, too, so that explains the basmati. This was one of Barry’s mum’s orders so we can’t comment on the taste, personally, but the pot was emptied. That should be some sort of endorsement? There are other casserole dishes on offer, too.
And The Italian Food At Sarge’s
Okay, you know the ‘creatures of habit’ thing and Barry ordering the Greek-style moussaka twice when we’re supposed to be trying different things? Well, there’s a snack section on the menu – wraps and panini (yeahy, some Italian).
It’s All About The Filling
You can choose from a selection of different Italian-style fillings for your panini, but, you see, one day, I spotted the Italian chicken in jalepeno sauce…with jalepenos, too. I genuinely can’t remember its Italian description on the menu but ‘jalepeno’ is international language, these days. I love this filling. So, I’ve had the wrap for lunch, as you can see above.
And then the next time we went back, I was going to order something different. Oh, but this cheesy, chicken jalepeno filling has got me. Well, it’s kind of different ordering the panini instead of the wrap, isn’t it? The panini was crunchy, the filling soft and oozy – and spicy, too. This is my panini of choice!
There are lots of antipasti choices on the menu and pasta dishes, too. If the moussaka is anything to go by, then the lasagne could be a pretty good bet, too. We can’t comment on any of these, though, because we’ve not had them – I love to make my own lasagne and pasta dishes at home.
And, when we write these posts, they’re just our opinions…and Sarge’s is our chilled out ‘pub lunch’ type of place that we’re enjoying at the moment. Oh, as well as being that place in the Çalış area where we know we can have a (large) local Gara Guzu, too. Oh, and feel completely comfortable while we’re doing all of that, too. Yeah, it suits us…
Sarge’s Place, Çalış – Useful Information
- Sarge’s Place is in the Foça Mahallesi (neighbourhood) on Mehmet Akif Ersoy Caddesi, near Çalış Sunday Market.
- The menu is varied and pizzas are also available (evenings only).
- Beers and wines etc are reasonably priced.
- Not all in life is perfect. Homemade chips, as opposed to the frozen variety, would add the top hat to the Sarge’s Place burger etc, but we can’t have everything. That’s a personal thing, anyway.
- If you’re a sports fan, various sports are shown on the screen inside the bar as and when they’re on.
- Wherever we eat (and enjoy) in the Fethiye area, we add it to our list of bars and restaurants.