They are infamous around Kabatas: the kofte sandwich stand. With three permanent stations along the shore, the Kofte sandwich is cheap, filling and delicious. The meat is flavorful. The ingredients are fresh. The stands are lively. Their scent lures you in. As you sit down on the small chairs, you immediately place your order.
Kofte is the Turkish equivalent of a meatball. However, there are several significant differences. The shape prevents us from translating it as a meatball, they tend to be oval-shaped and flat. Also, they are rich with spices and flavor and the quality of meat is much higher than anything I am accustomed to.
A kofte sandwich consists of half a loaf of bread and contains 4-6 kofte, as well as lettuce, tomato, onions, parsley, salt, thyme and red pepper flakes. It is fresh, flavorful and filling. And?! 5-7 Lira.
Before and after concerts and football games in Istanbul, these kofte stands migrate to the entrance of these large venues to fill a void. They provide a cheap meal or snack before or after an event. Everyone knows it and seeks it out. People who never come into the city or eat street food cannot resist the temptation of these sandwiches.
I took this photo after befriending this hardworking man who ran the stand with his son. The photo was taken before the Stevie Wonder concert. The perfect start to the evening!