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Boston Area Turkish Brookline

Brookline Family Turkish Restaurant report

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Brookline Family Turkish Restaurant report

rxrfrx | May 8, 2005 09:30 AM

This place is fantastic. I wish I'd gone earlier. I sort of got the impression that it was somewhat upscale, but no, it's really still a diner with nice decorations and a good dinner menu. Prices quoted are approximate.

Dinner started off with a complementary bean salad and some soft bread topped with black sesame seeds. Very tasty. I should point out at this point that everything was salted at the very high end of things (as I personally like it). However, people commented on some things being a little too salty.

Adana kabab with yogurt ($14) contained a massive amount of meat. The kabab consists of ground meat and some kind of starch, pressed into a flank steak-type shape and grilled. It almost tastes like a solid piece of meat- a good mix of tenderness and springiness. Also on the plate is a large mass of plain, unseasoned yogurt. Underneath both meat and yogurt are cubes of stale bread soaked in a tomato sauce, and some of the tomato sauce is also spread on top. A very interesting presentation. A grilled tomato and hot pepper garnish.

Lamb sheesh kebab with yogurt ($12) was a similar presentation, but the meat was chewy (not too chewy), well-seasoned chunks of lamb.

Moussaka ($10) was ground lamb in that same tomato sauce, spread over grilled eggplant chunks and baked. There was cheese melted over the top, which was surprising. It was some sort of gooey, mozzarella-like stuff. Perhaps an influence from the subshop stuff they serve during lunchtime...

Swordfish ($12) was a single, huge kebab of massive fish chunks, grilled lemons, peppers and onions. Presentation included sliced red onion, tomato, and lemon. Fish wasn't very fresh- it had a fishy flavor.

The latter two dishes both came with a plate of two rice pilafs, a white one with orzo and a orangey one (with tomato in it, I think). These rices, oddly enough, contained too little salt. I didn't care for them.

We had a glass of the red Turkish wine (there's only one on the list) and a Turkish soda (again, only one offered). The wine was thin and crisp in flavor, with a persistant sea breeze type aroma that I liked. The soda was kind of gross... like overcarbonated Sprite with added bubblegum flavor.

There are about 10 pastry options for dessert ($3). We chose a piece of revani (a syrup-soaked cake that tasted and looked like cornbread, but traditionally is made with semolina) and a piece of what the waitress called "laz taldaza." This second pastry, as far as I know, was laz boregi (galaktoboureko). It's a "milk pie" with a stiff pudding sandwiched between syrup-soaked filo layers. The Family Restaurant version is fantastic. The pudding center is stiff enoguh to hold its shape when cut with a sharp knife, but when one attempts to cut through with a fork, the pudding oozes out the sides. I'm still trying to replicate this at home.


Overall, this place is highly recommended. Prices run a little high for a diner, but if you get the kebab, you'll get your money's worth in meat. Getting the non-yogurt plates (they come with rice instead of yogurt and bread cubes) is a few bucks cheaper but I'd go with the yogurt for the unique presentation.

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