has anyone ever been to Avesta (2077 ste Catherines o.)? i’ve been asking around and against all odds given its central location and proximity to both Boite Karaoke and Librarie JA Westcott (the one with the old man that i understand is run by cats), no one seems to have tried it. it is possible that you even know the place I’m talking about but never tried or succeeded to remember its name – it’s one of those narrow slots of a storefront with a big glass window, distinguished from its neighbours by revealing an old (i always imagine her old, but probably she is sometimes young) woman perpetually cooking flatbread on a giant circular griddle. the food is Turkish and reasonably priced and boasts a good selection of meat and vegetarian dishes, and i have no other option than to suppose that the restaurant is shrouded by some mystic perplexion whereby the novelty of a woman making fresh exotic bread and one’s uncertainty about what distinguishes Turkish from other more or less middleish eastern cuisines does not translate into irresistible curiosity about what might await one within.
anyway, one day i was like “what the fuck am i doing, not having been here yet?” and i went and it was good. i shared a sort of sampler plate of dips (with fresh bread, which i believe is lavash), from which there are something just shy of a dozen to choose – we had the bhaba ghanouj (well garlicky with a pleasantly burnt taste underlying the smokiness of the eggplant), muhumarra (a paste consisting mostly of chilis and oil and pomegranate), and some stuffed grape leaves which were satisfactory, but as underwhelming as i always find them to be when not plucked hot an fresh and soft out of a pot. also a spinach and feta borick (which seems to be both conceptually and linguistically approximate to the Moroccan brik – crispy light pastry containing meat or eggs and vegetables), and something the name of which i don’t recall, but was a mess of tomato and olives and onions and peppers in barely cooked beyond liquidity eggs. had we skipped the $5 bottles of domestic beer, i think the meal would have come out a little above $20, which felt perfectly reasonable, and I’m certainly going to go again, particularly because they also sell Turkish coffee, which i didn’t get, but am sufficiently impressed that i expect it would be done right.
on a less positive note, that same night i showed up half an hour late to see Neil Young (who could have imagined that he’d start at 9:30), thus missing Cortez The Killer, which resulted in me now constantly wishing i were dead.