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Veranda: Turkish on Coney Island Avenue


Restaurants & Bars 6

Veranda: Turkish on Coney Island Avenue

Erica Marcus | Apr 23, 2003 02:32 PM

A couple of times when I've overshot Taci's Beyti on Coney Island at Ave P, I've passed another place on the opposite side of the street, Veranda between Aves U and V. On Saturday night, a friend and I gave it a shot.

It's a freestanding building with a smal parking lot and the titular veranda overlooking same. It was too cold to eat outside, so we headed into the spacious dining room. Functional and clean, with a counter that at first glance appears to be a sushi bar but is really a charcoal grill over which various kebabs are cooked.

We started with a bunch of salads, all terrific: coban salatasi, the chopped shepherd's salad, patlican salatasi, the eggplant puree that is essentially a tahini-less babaganoush, and a strained yogurt with roasted peppers. As per usual in a Turkish restaurant, very good flat bread sprinkled with nigella seeds. I ordered a fava bean salad thinking it might be made with fresh ones, but it was made from dried and was essentially foul--not that there's anything wrong with that. (Foul, the Egyptian bean dish, not foul the bird or foul the icky.)

I ordered the beyti kebab, ground lamb with parsley and spices and grilled in a long sausage shape. This version was wrapped in thin flatbread (like a flour tortilla almost) before being cut into sections--kind of like a cooked lamb maki--and was delicious. Friend had something I love at Turkish restaurants: grilled chicken thighs that have been partially boned so that the bone is attached at one end and the other end is free so you can use it as a handle. These had, I think, been marinated in yogurt and spices before being grilled and were just delicious.

They didn't for some reason carry Efes beer, but we had glasses of white Turkish wine that were fine. I saw some French fries go by that looked improbably fine. We skipped dessert, which I now kind of regret, but I had good Turkish coffee and friend had apple tea.

Our waitress was particularly sweet. With tip the bill came to about $63.

If anyone can tell me why Turkish restaurants always seem to attract Russian crowds, I'd appreciate it. I'm beginning to think that Turkish is to Russian as Chinese is to Jewish.

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