Ayse Meze

My friend Sarah Withers, the creator of the wonderful new Taste of Frederick Food Tours, invited me to come along to the first ‘Frederick Foodies’ {offical group name pending} meet up at the new Ayse Meze restaurant on Saturday night. Ayse Meze opened at the end of September and I was very excited to try it; especially since it is owned by the owners of Isabella’s!

The interior was very similar to the way Danielle’s and Tauraso’s was set up.  I am hoping that Ayse Meze will be able to stay in business.  It is always sad to see a building have such high turnover.

From the moment I walked in I could smell the amazing food.  The hostess and I had to pause when walking to our table because there was a flaming pan of cheese. No joke, and it smelled amazing.

 The meet up was an informal way for Frederick food bloggers to get together, network, and try different restaurants around Frederick. There were 6 of us this time around. I had a great time getting to know these women and learning more about the blogging world and ways to better my own blog.  

I ordered a fancier drink than usual; a pomegranate fizzy sparkling wine.  A nice little girly drink with a Mediterranean flair.  Cost: $5- not bad in my opinion.
{Pom fizz + Menu}
After getting to know each other a little, the group decided on trying the spread sampler: girisler. 
The girisler sampler consisted of dollops of:
tzatziki {cucumber, yogurt, dill- ahh takes me back to Greece}*
pasa ezmesi{yogurt, feta, biber, jalapenos and parsley}
gemlik zeytin {black olives, pepper paste, feta and garlic}* 
babaganoush {eggplant, tahini, lemon, garlic} 
muhammara. {red pepper, walnuts, pomegranate molasses}

{Dip sampler}
{Tasting each spread}
the cheese sampler: Peynir Tabagi Sampler
consisting of:
bulgairan feta, watermelon, olive oil, jalapeno and mint*
grilled haloumi, cyprus tomato jam, marcona almonds, sumac*
sigara borekgi, feta, goat cheese, phyllo, spicy apricot spoon sweet
saganaki, kasseri cheese flamed with mezteca brandy, lemon
manouri, calmynra figs, honey, walnuts, sherry vinegar gel

{*indicates Tara’s favs}
{Cheese Sampler}
 The flaming plate of cheese was also ordered. So yummy.
{Cheese on fire!}
For our individual mezes, I ordered the kibbeh; beef + lamb bulgur fritters mixed with pine nuts and golden raisins.  The plate came with the cutest little jar full of oils, spices and a big ball of labneh, which is a soft type of cream cheese tasting thing made from strained yogurt.  I spread some on my kibbeh and it was delicious.  
Some ladies ordered the bifftek: top sirloin steak with arugula, ayse steak sauce and french fries.  Others ordered the xtemia, sea scallops on top of sweet potato puree, fennel and mint mustard butter.  The smell was mouthwatering, I had to take a picture.
For dessert I ordered the çikolata keştane pastasi- a very rich but delicious chocolate chestnut cake. 

{Yummy dessert}
Overall I really enjoyed my meal at Ayse Meze.  Only critic we all seemed to agree on was the timing between plates.  I am sure this will improve as the staff gains more experience. Thank you Sarah for inviting me and I can’t wait until our next meet up in November. 🙂
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