Luckily in Turkey, although there are a few inspections, a cafe does not have to have industrial appliances, which cost the earth. I used home appliances. My kitchens produced my menu, which I am pasting here. It was kind of like cooking for a very big family. My kitchens got bigger in each location.
Here is the kitchen at the first cafe.
Molly’s Cafe was the only place in town that made real pancakes. Some places offered pancakes but they were really crepes. I was surprised to learn how much Germans liked pancakes, actually. I had quite a few regulars who came just for these. Some people were surprised I did not serve real maple syprup, but I told them I grew up on fake maple syrup, as even back then it was quite expensive.
Scone with butter and jam (usually available weekends)
Eggs (fried or scrambled, with tomato, cucumber, toast, jam)
Plain or cheese omelette (with tomato, cucumber, toast, jam)
Veg. omelette (mushroom, pepper, onion with tomato, cucumber, toast, jam)
Muesli with milk
Muesli with seasonal fruit & yogurt or milk 12TL
Yogurt with seasonal fruit
Toast and jam or honey
Small breakfast cheese plate with bread
Continental breakfast (cheese, tomato, cucumber, toast, jam)
Breakfast burrito (scrambled eggs and beans in tortilla)
Pancakes with syrup or jam
Here is the kitchen at the second cafe. There were actually two kitchens. One was downstairs, so I had to hire a cook and baker, Turkish women who had to learn my style. The other was upstairs, where I could bake some things in a portable oven and make some things on a double hotplate.
Quiche (vegetarian) plus small salad
Vegetarian lasagna plus small salad
Spaghetti with meat sauce
Quesadilla (tortilla, cheese, tomato, cucumber, onion)
Chili con carne
Soup of the day
Salad of the day
Daily special (as available)
Here is the kitchen at the third cafe. I had another stove and portable oven in the depot, which was just about as big as the kitchen. Of course I also had coffee drinks, teas, and cold drinks.
As you can see from the menu, the food was homecooking, but in Istanbul it was a luxry. Turkish food is really good, but often foreigners wanted food that was more like home and a few Turks were adventurous to try something different.
Here is the kitchen at the last cafe. This last kitchen was the best. It was big, so I walked a lot, but it had everything. It was probably the biggest kitchen I have ever had anywhere.
Pie (with ice cream)
Cookie plate (10 cookies)
You can see more photos of this last kitchen here: http://migrantkitchens.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/mollys-cafe-2/
I cooked and baked a lot in five years. I made hundreds of cakes, vegie lasagnas, soups, salads, cookies, bread. It didn’t really matter how big the kitchen was, for the most part, but bigger was better. It was not a foodie’s paradise, but it was a taste of home away from home.