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Troy Restaurant in Press
Austin Chronicle Article
There is definitely something going on with gas station cafes these days. They are not at all what they seem. Gone are the pesty old warming trays, the over-breaded jalapeño poppers, and the stale chimichangas; Austin's gas station cafes are steadily metamorphosing into culinary butterflies.
Such is the case with Troy, a delightful Turkish cafe lurking behind a North Austin Valero station. Like the horse in the story, the charmless strip center is just a decoy. Inside Troy, Nazmi Eren and his family have effected a DIY makeover that successfully screens their invading force. Red walls and long wooden tables beckon you in. But this time, armed with a repertoire of Turkish home cookery, it's Troy that will win the turf war.
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This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tiny eatery is one of the very few Turkish places in town, and certainly one of the best. Tucked back behind a gas station, Troy definitely doesn't look like much from the outside, but it's warm and inviting inside, with long wooden tables and dark red walls. The restaurant's signature dish is the Beef Iskender, a simple combination with yogurt and doner on toasted bread, with browned butter poured on top. And for those folks wanting to save a couple of bills, it’s BYOB.
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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.
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