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A Little Iskender at Daphne Cafe

Really the best kind of yogurt.
Really the best kind of yogurt.

Turkish food isn’t exactly the type of food you can find anywhere. Yet, miraculously Pittsburgh isn’t lacking in that department. One of these spots is Daphne Cafe in Shadyside. We arrived on a snowy winter day and sadly found the place empty. Then again, it was also 3 in the afternoon, so not quite prime time.

We began with an order of Labneh, which is a thick Turkish yogurt. It’s actually used as a dip and came with some pita to do the dipping. The labneh itself was awesome, with a dash of spice and olive oil, but the pita was a little lacking. Not that it didn’t taste good, it was literally lacking. There was one pita cut into four pieces and we had to ask for a little extra to get us through the rest of the labneh.


I ordered the Iskender Kebab as my main course. This is pretty much my go-to Turkish order and is really not a kebab at all. In fact, it’s more of a platter with lamb meat, yogurt and tomato sauce piled on top of pita. There was also a random grilled pepper and tomato that came with it. Fortunately these had been mentioned on the menu, but I allowed them with the knowledge that one of my lovely eating companions would take care of them. I was right. As for the real food, the meat doesn’t always come out the same, and this one was more like gyros. It was a pretty beautiful thing and lived up to my lofty expectations.

Daphne Cafe was definitely worth checking out and a nice ethnic flavor in the otherwise much more whitewashed Shadyside.