Channeling Heisenberg

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I really love Istanbul.  It’s one of those cities that you could visit a hundred times and it would still seem different every time you visit; there are endless streets and neighborhoods to explore.  Even though I plan to be here for a few years, I will inevitably miss a thing or twelve because there is just so much to see and do.

It’d been awhile since we’d done anything in Istanbul besides shop for necessities, so we were eager to go just for fun after getting back from the hectic holiday.  We took the Saturday service in and decided to wander around Kadıköy and enjoy the refreshingly good weather.  A couple of months ago, some students published a guide to fun things to do around Kadıköy (since it’s the closest neighborhood to the school) and we were excited to try out some of their recommendations.

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We decided on Walter’s Coffee Roastery, which combines two things that I love in one magical place:  Breaking Bad and coffee.  Before searching around for it, we decided to stop for brunch at a little cafe that served different kinds of menemen – a delicious egg dish with peppers, tomato, and onion – and it hit the spot.  We descended into the trendy “hipster” area of Kadıköy called Moda and began our hunt for our coffee fix.

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After wandering through the winding streets for about twenty minutes, we finally saw the big yellow “W” that let us know we’d found our destination.  We walked inside to find a giant periodic table labeled with things from the show, a separate room with glass walls designed to look like a meth lab, and a giant white board drawn up with all kinds of pictures and writing referencing the show.  We sat down and took a look at their menu.

One thing you have to understand about Turkey is that they don’t really have a good grasp on what most Westerners consider to be coffee (which they call “filtered coffee”).  They have Turkish coffee (which I’m not a huge fan of), but it’s really much more of a tea culture here.  Most places have some adaptations of filtered coffee, but they usually taste a few notches below what a nasty gas station coffee would taste like in the States.  In other words, very disappointing.

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The menu at Walter’s seemed to include some more familiar coffee drinks that I hadn’t seen at many other coffee shops in Turkey, so I had the feeling that this place might just be different.  I ordered a cold brew coffee (often purer in coffee flavor than hot brews) and my husband got a cortado.  When they brought us our coffees, the nerd inside me squealed when I saw they were serving it to me in a lab beaker, keeping with the theme.  I took my first sip and I’m happy to report that this is one place in Turkey that knows how to make a decent cup of coffee.

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Even more exciting, we realized that the glass “meth lab” room came with costumes modeled after Walt and Jesse’s yellow jumpsuits that customers could try on to get their pictures taken.  We definitely couldn’t resist.

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Tread lightly.

We finished out our day with a stop for some doughnuts (can’t have coffee without doughnuts!), browsing through some of the interesting shops, some midday drinks at a cool pub, and watching the sun set on the water by the ferries.  Never a dull day in Istanbul!

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