When I first heard of Ephesus Pizza, I clung to the hope that they would actually serve some Turkish food and that the name wasn't just a pizza restaurant trying to sound exotic. Specifically, I was hoping the restaurant would serve Turkish pide (basically a Turkish pizza), one of our favorite dishes from our travels in Turkey.
As I checked out the menu online I couldn't have been happier. Not only did they have our beloved pide complete with sujuk, a dry-cured meat sort of like pepperoni, but they also had lahmacun (another type of meat-topped flatbread), kebaps, and other gyro-esque wraps.
We just had to visit, and it only took us a few days in between hearing about this place and actually getting there. Since that first visit, we've found many reasons to return time and time again.
Turkish Specialties You May Not Have Heard Of
The menu here is huge. Most of it is devoted to traditional pizzas and other standard pizza joint offerings like wings, subs, calzones, and pasta. But the sections we zeroed in on were the Mediterranean appetizers, kebaps, and pide. If a Turkish family opens a pizza joint and also serves some Turkish food, pay attention – you should definitely try the Turkish food.
We ordered the lamp wrap which was served in a super soft wrap filled with tomatoes, onions, and lettuce. A delicious cucumber yogurt sauce was served along side it. However, the lamb itself was chewy and tough- next time we would try the chicken or gyro wraps instead.
What didn't disappoint was the pide. It was exactly like we remembered from Turkey- impossibly thin, crispy crust in a sort of boat shape, topped with a thick layer of melty cheese and slices of well-seasoned sujuk. It's so much food that at first you tell your dining companion you'll share with them. And then you take that first bite and spend the rest of the meal hoarding it all for yourself.
The pide was served with salad, more of the cucumber yogurt sauce, and even some roasted tomatoes and hot peppers (way too hot for us to handle!).
The Kebab Topped Pizza is Divine
On the pizza side of things, Ephesus offers a wide array of combinations both traditional and with Turkish influence.
You can get a gyro topped pizza, their take on a pepperoni with Turkish soujouck (the same as on the pide), or go for our personal favorite, the chicken or shish kebab topped pizza.
Aside from the strong Turkish flavors that come through, one of the reasons we absolutely adore the kebab pizza is that Ephesus does not skimp on the toppings. Every single slice gets a kebab, ensuring that you'll have their tasty flavors through and through.
Although their more traditional pizzas are still quite good, the ones with the Turkish influence just seem to be that much better and we go for them time and time again at this very unlikely spot.
We definitely need to make it back here and try some of the other unique Turkish dishes on the menu like the lahmacun, falafel, borek, kofte, and maybe even some of the desserts like rice pudding and baklava. There's plenty here to keep us coming back, and for that reason we love it.
Ephesus Pizza has three locations in Pittsburgh including Downtown, Bellevue, and Aspinwall.
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