"Let's meet for coffee if you're free," I wrote an expat friend before a recent trip to Istanbul.
"I know just the place," she wrote back.
We meet up at the Kadikoy ferry station and head toward the fish market. As we walk, she tells me she went to grad school on this side of the Bosporus, and laments the things she misses — almond cookies, and Turk Kahvesi from Fazil Bey's.
With her fuzzy memory (and the stench of the fish market) as our compasses, we circle in and finally find the shop.
It's a chilly day in late March, and the sun is fighting its way through Istanbul's smog and drizzle. But we're Midwesterners by birthright, so we pull up two iron-legged folding chairs to one of the small, round wood tables in the doorway. The salep and coffee keep us warm enough for three hours to slip by.
As we're leaving I ask for the restroom and discover the tiny shop has an upstairs too. With antique tile floors, a distinguished wood bar, and gleaming gold machinery, Fazil Bey's is a cozy place to spend the afternoon.