Restaurants & Bars 8

Anatolia in Waterbury CT, My review.

ctdubbin | Feb 19, 200802:50 PM

first, the information.

Anatolia Restaurant
586 Plank Rd, Waterbury CT
(203) 591-8450

the back of Anatolia can be seen from Rt. 84, big sign that says "turkish cuisine" or something of that nature. so i decided to stop in and try it. I'm always down for something new in the culinary wasteland of the Rt. 8 corridor.

by the looks of things, it wasn't good. the parking lot for this place was crumbling (not unlike the rest of Waterbury) and had a drop from the street i wasn't sure my lowered Eagle Talon would be able to make. There was a single car in the parking lot, and the building itself was quite discreet, clean, and overall very unassuming. Inside it was evident that this building used to be a "family diner".... there was booth seating all around (service for maybe 75 ppl or so) and on the right a couple of round tables. A bar area sat right in front of the fryers and ovens, a la 50's style diners. on the far right of the bar/open kitchen was a large hunk of lamb spit-roasting horizontally. it looked really good. Minimal effort was made to establish this as "not a hastily remodeled former family diner," a couple of mediterranean-esque pictures and blue color scheme in the walls and tableware. I only dropped by for lunch, so i picked up a black and white menu and told the owner (presumably) that I wanted whatever was good that day. he tried explaining what he was going to make to me but I insisted as long as it's fresh and delicious, i didn't care what I ate.

so he whipped up for me a dish that i can't find on this menu i took with me. It was white rice topped with thin slices of the lamb that was roasting away when i walked in. On the side I received a large lightly roasted plum tomato, a lightly roasted Italian hot pepper, and a side of onion salad, which consisted of shaved carrots, red onions, white onions, and some parsley. I also got a half of a loaf of turkish bread, which was more like a large roll than a traditional loaf. Presentation wise, it looked good. there was a good mix of colors, and the lamb smelled amazing. it was garnished with a parsley leaf or two. I paid $12.00 for it.

-The bread was very good, slightly chewy but still soft, with a nice firm crust. more on that later though.

- the meat was delicious. it was thin shaved and more or less almost fell apart in your mouth. It was not heavily spiced, which was great considering lamb has a wonderful flavor by itself and doesn't need it. Some of the lamb was a little overcooked and a bit chewy, but overall delicious.

-the roasted vegetables were perfectly done, and the pepper was spicy. no complaints.

-the Onion salad could have been done with vidalias or some other sweet onion to balance out the red onions. too many of them and it gets spicy!

The only thing i was confused about is why i was given a large chunk of bread. there was no sauce on the lamb, and nothing that could be sopped up by the bread. it was delcious by itself anyways so i guess i don't care. it just struck me as odd.

it made me a delicious lunch, but i don't know if i would like to eat there for dinner. maybe someone else can chime in.

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