Here’s a short shout-out for Restaurant Pinar, which I’ve just added to my Where to Eat in Basel page, a warmly welcoming place (not a given in Basel) that’s owned and run by several generations of the Sazpinar family. It’s close to the University Hospital and there are always loads of medics and students here tucking into the tasty, reasonably priced food. Though most people know it as ‘the Turkish restaurant near the hospital’, the restaurant’s card and website describe it more precisely as Anatolian. Expect hummus, sarma (stuffed vine leaves), various borek pastry parcels, salads with yogurt, doner kebap, pide, lovely lamb, and aubergines every which way.
The five fixed-price menus (all at CHF22.50) feature a selection from the above dishes, often with a salad to start with, plus the main dish, vegetables and bulgur or pilaff. If there’s any baklava left – it’s dismayingly popular – go for it (or if you’ve eaten your fill already, buy some to go). The pastry is “as thin as grasshopper’s wings” (not my words but those of the poet Ibn al-Rumi), drenched in honey and sprinkled with pistachios. There’s a small selection of wines (including from Anatolia) and they serve Ueli beer, from one of Basel’s microbreweries.