Had the opportunity to pretend to do business over lunch the other day (something I almost never get to do) so got to stray a little further and went back to Anatolia Kebap at Lincoln and Western.
Run, don't walk. They have REAL doner kebab, thin layers of beef and lamb on a spit, very lean, delicious. I had the Iskander kebap, which was bread (their own wonderful homemade, which seems like a sourdough but is not dense in texture like so many commercial sourdoughs, as well as pita) toasted and then tossed in a very nice, neutral tomato sauce, topped by the doner kebap. That was half the plate, the other half was the homemade yogurt to eat with it. And half the plate was twice what I could eat. And the yogurt was topped with drizzles of clarified butter.
My colleague had the Izgara (?) mixed kebap, which is some doner, some chicken, some shish, on your choice of couscous or rice pilaf. She chose couscous, I would have taken the pilaf, but she pronounced the couscous very good. Both of our entrees came with the house salad, a standard chopped salad with the addition of a good amount of parsley used as a green, not a garnish. It came undressed, and oil and red wine vinegar were put on the table for us. Before that we were served a basket of pita and country bread, and a plate of the pickled cabbage that I have seen recently in produce markets in the area and was told by a Hungarian co-worker that is traditional for X-mas. Describing it as just chunks of pickled cabbage doesn't do it justice, I think I will go back to Chicago Fruit Market tomorrow and if they have it I will buy a whole head, it was that good.
We also got complementary tea with our meal. I'm not a huge tea person, it often gives me a sore throat, but this was very smooth and I had several glasses.
Since we couldn't finish our main dishes, we opted to have them packed and check out the desserts. We split something called the Silver Dolar, a mixture of short-crust pastry, almond paste, and some kind of wonderful syrup. I haven't eaten anything that almond and good since Toledo, Spain.
Since I had been there before and knew they had specials, I had asked about them, which brought the chef out to talk to us about them. They were lamb chops for $13.95 and blackened cajun salmon $14.95. When I asked how about just salmon the way you would eat it in say, Turkey, he said oh that's how I do it, but I don't know. Both of the specials were way more than anything else on the menu. Nothing else was over ten bucks, that's salad, tea, entree, and by the way entrees came with wonderful grilled vegetables. The owner also let us know that you could bring your own "liquor".
They were just putting the bread in the oven when we were there so I couldn't get a loaf; they told me it would be ready about 4. I stopped on my way home from work and picked up a loaf, it was a huge improvement on Whole Foods, and cheaper, too.
By the way, there were lots of vegetarian and vegan items on the menu, and the vegan items were very discretely identified. In case that's a consideration.
I sincerely hope we can keep this family in business; check it out and let me know what you think.
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