Eat the Strip

Nazli's Kitchen & Cafe

2590 Carp Rd, Carp, ON K0A 1L0

March 25, 2024 10:44 PM

By: Ameya Charnalia


Next time you’re on the highway and see the exit to Carp, take it—your belly won’t regret it.

We drove there this past weekend to try out some authentic Turkish breakfast. That’s right. Some of the best Turkish food on offer in Ottawa is not in the city core, or its suburbs, but in the idyllic community of Carp.

Eat the Strip reader Daniel dropped us a tip earlier this year: “Try Nazli's Kitchen & Cafe, Daniel wrote. “I had the kafte sandwich and a latte. The sandwich had crisp lettuce, great tomatoes and onions. The meatballs were tasty.”

This weekend, we paid heed to Daniel’s recommendation and made the roughly-25-kilometre drive west on the Queensway to try Nazli's Kitchen & Cafe. Now, admittedly, the restaurant is not located in a strip mall. But the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Google—an average of 4.9 out of five—coupled with our readers’ rave reviews, meant we had to go.

Operated by Nazli and her husband, Frank, we got to the restaurant around 1 p.m. It’s located on the main road that leads you downtown. Inside, Turkish music plays on the speakers as Frank beckons at one of the four sun kissed tables. When I ask for his preferred item on the breakfast menu, he tells me everything is excellent as it’s made by his wife.

He undoubtedly gets a few brownie points for that.

We decided to go with menemen and the mihlama. For beverages, we ordered a Turkish coffee and a hot glass of salep, a traditional Turkish beverage made from sweetened milk, cinnamon and ground orchid tubers, which are used to thicken the beverage.

Menemen is a popular Turkish dish that includes eggs, tomato, green peppers and spices such as ground black and red pepper cooked in olive oil
Menemen is a popular Turkish dish that includes eggs, tomato, green peppers and spices such as ground black and red pepper cooked in olive oil

The standout dish was the menemen. Served alongside warm, crispy bread the dish was perfect item for a Sunday breakfast. It was light, eggy and refreshingly simple. The ingredients, including a healthy portion of fresh tomatoes, peppers and herbs, were lightly cooked in olive oil and carried a signature Mediterranean taste.

Famous for the variety that comes from the Black Sea coast of Turkey, mihlama is prepared with several types of cheese and thickened with cornmeal
Famous for the variety that comes from the Black Sea coast of Turkey, mihlama is prepared with several types of cheese and thickened with cornmeal

We also really enjoyed the mihlama. When combined with the menemen, it tasted like bruschetta served with fondue. The melted cheese was gooey, stringy and perfect on a crisp day.

Both dishes cost around $15 each. We even had enough leftovers for a dinner appetizer. On our way out, we thanked Nazli and Frank for their hospitality and delicious offerings.