It was Friday night at the Flanagan house.
Me: "Wanna catch some dinner before we head to Big V's?"
Gerg: "Yessir! What are you thinking?"
Me: "I'm thinking gyros. Something close to Big V's. Wanna find something while I get ready?"
Gerg: "I'm on it!"
Me: "You da best!"
After 3 outfit changes due to suspiciously cold August weather in Minneapolis, I was finally ready. We hopped in the car. A starving Gerg informed me that he had selected a Turkish joint called Black Sea, near Snelling and Minnehaha. "Do they have good gyros?" I wondered, as we headed out. He knew little to nothing about Black Sea, and neither did I.
Parking was a breeze once we arrived. We hopped out of the car and wandered into a hole-in-the-wall restaurant dripping with Turkish decor, such as Kil carpets and copper pots and plates, on the walls. Beaded curtains separated the tables.
At 9:15 on a Friday, there were only a few other guests. I knew I wanted to try the staples: gyro, hummus, and falafel, so I didn't spend too much time going over the menu.
Our server recommended the hummus appetizer and the "Black Sea Combination" for an entree, to which she would add some falafel for us. We both agreed to the suggestion, and sat back to enjoy our drinks: Oralet(Turkish orange tea) and Turkish Iced Tea. Turkish tea, called çay, is a form of black tea.
Our hummus appetizer came shortly after our drinks. The hummus was freshly made, thick, drizzled with olive oil, dotted with paprika, and served with pita, feta, fresh tomato slices, and olives.
We hadn't quite finished our hummus when our entree arrived. The combination platter was served, and I gasped. It was a HUGE portion. Enough for 4 adults. That's a standard-sized butter knife in the photo. That plate was roughly 16" in diameter.
Served on top of about 3 cups of basmati rice was chicken gyro meat, beef and lamb gyro meat, marinated chicken kebob, beef shish kebob, 2 meatball kebob, and 2 balls of falafel (we asked for the falafel). Pita bread, fresh greens, onion, green pepper, and fresh tomatoes were served on the side. The meat was juicy, tender, and spiced generously. We smiled. Gerg's favorite was the chicken kebob. If I had to pick, I'd pick the meatball kebob.
There is no indication as to where they source their food. Although, based on the freshness of the tomato, I'd say they were from around the block.
I'm not dying to return, but I would like to stop back to try their cabbage rolls and lentil soup someday.
Looking for a random spot worth visiting?
Black Sea Restaurant
737 N Snelling Ave.
Saint Paul, 55104 Minnesota
(651) 917 8832
[where: Minnesota, Food, Minneapolis, Twin Cities, 55418]