Mehmet “Nuri” Davarci said he has already achieved the two goals he set when he relocated his family from Turkey to Austin two years ago and opened Troy Restaurant in September 2014.
Speaking in Turkish while his youngest son, Orhun, translated, Nuri said he wanted to bring the culture of Turkey to Austin and provide his children with a better education. Orhun is a senior at Anderson High School, and his older son, Orhan, already graduated.
“Our new goal is to satisfy our customers,” Nuri said. “Most customers have never been to Turkey, but when they leave [the restaurant], they know how to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you.’ … Troy is your home.”
Nuri opened the restaurant with his nephew, Nazmi Eren, but bought out Eren’s share. The name Troy comes from the eastern city in Turkey located near the Aegean Sea, and it is also the setting in Homer’s poem, “Iliad,” he said.
“I wanted to show customers [Troy] might be [in]a Greek epic, but it is a Turkish city,” Nuri said.
Troy serves cuisine from the southern region of Turkey where the family lived in Adana. Nuri’s wife, Gungor, said she took cooking classes in Turkey, and her friends really liked her food. Now she is the head chef.
“The food is mainly Mediterranean,” she said. “Turkey has many regions, and this is representative of the southern region that is more Mediterranean.”
The most popular dish is the Beef Iskender Plate ($11.95)—which comes with beef doner—grilled meat sliced from a vertical spit—and served with tomato sauce, yogurt and rice.
The Kofte Kebab Plate ($9.95) includes spicy beef meatballs served with peppers and rice.
Troy serves a variety of wraps, salads and plates and also has several vegetarian options, including a Choban Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, oil, mint and thyme. The Barbunya Salad includes pinto beans, carrots and potatoes on top of lettuce greens.
“Everything is handmade and fresh,” Nuri said.
8105 Mesa Drive, Ste. A, Austin
Hours: Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. noon-9:30 p.m., closed Mon.
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Traditional Turkish coffee
According to Mehmet “Nuri” Davarci, Turkish coffee is traditionally boiled in a special coffee pot called a cezve, which has a long handle, and served in small cups.
Turkish coffee is also served with Turkish delights, or powdered sweets, and a cup of water as a palate cleanser.
Nuri said sultans used to use the water to add to their coffee to test the coffee for poison. If the coffee bubbled, it was poisonous.
Customers may purchase bags of Turkish coffee as well as cezve sets at Troy Restaurant.