Turkish At House Of Kebab
By Peter Sloggatt/ email@example.com
Ask any grade school student to locate Turkey
and he’ll tell you it’s in Eastern Europe, right
near Greece. But there must be a little bit that’s missing
because it’s right here at the Turkish Kebab House on
Deer Park Avenue. The little bit of Turkey that Mehmet Ozdemie
and his wife Selda have created at 1815 Deer Park Avenue (just
south of the Dix Hills border) provides a “home away
from home” for Turkish nationals from throughout the
Located in a brightly lit storefront on busy
DPA, the first clue that the Kebab House is the real deal
comes from the television set that hangs above the dining
area. When there’s not a soccer game being broadcast,
the satellite feed provides access to Turkish news and entertainment.
Then there’s the bulletin board, with its apartment
listings and job notices in what I presume to be Turkish.
As far as décor, the modest eatery
falls somewhere between church meeting room and corner deli,
but no one’s there for the atmosphere. It’s all
about the food.
I’m no expert on Turkish cooking, so
I can only go by the reasoning that if I don’t recognize
the dishes, they qualify as ethnic. And while I can in no
way vouch for their authenticity, I can tell you that during
each of my three visits to the restaurant, there have always
been a handful of men talking in what I presume to be Turkish.
That alone assures me that it’s the real thing.
Of course, even the menu is foreign to me.
I asked the advice of the owner who steered me toward the
basic kebab dishes. On my first trip it was the Chicken Shish
Kebab ($9) consisting of grilled marinated chicken served
with rice and salad. My next visit, I’d graduated to
the Mix Grill, or Karisik Izgara ($14), an assortment of shish
adana kebab (ground lamb), gyros and chicken shish kebab,
likewise served with rice and salad, plus a generous portion
of homemade pita bread.
The pita bread alone is worth a trip. It’s
not the flat stuff of grocery stores, but a crusty, egg-brushed-and-fresh-baked-on-premises-every-day
round loaf of bread. Trust me, it’s a meal in itself
that even carb-haters will not be able to resist.
Additional entrees on our still-to-try list
are the skewer-grilled Beyti Kebab ($9), ground lamb flavored
with garlic, hot peppers and parsley, and served over rice.
The chicken sauté ($10) is one of few dishes not grilled
and features pan-fried chicken, vegetables and sauce. The
Adana Kebab (chicken or lamb, $9) is an intriguing sounding
blend of ground meat, flavored with red bell peppers and slightly
seasoned with paprika.
While a single portion is plenty, appetizers,
soups and starters allow adventurers to sample the cuisine.
The Sheperd Salad ($5.50, $7.50) is a refreshingly cool blend
of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and parsley in an oil
dressing. Greek Salad ($5.50, $7.50) adds grape leaves and
feta cheese to tomatoes cucumbers and olives. Appetizers include
a lemony Humas $3.50) and a delicious Baba Granouj ($3.50),
combining elggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon and spices. One
hot appetizer worth trying is the Sigara Boregi, or cheese
pastries ($7, $13) made with delicate filo dough wrapped in
feta cheese and parsley and deep fried.
Also on my to-eat list, the Cheese Pie ($9),
something like a Turkish pizza consisting of thick dough with
Turkish kashar cheese. It’s one of a half-dozen Turkish
pizzas that range from $3 to $11.
The restaurant is nearing a year in business
and so far has gained a following among Turkish nationals
who seem to find their ways there by word of mouth, and Foodie
adventurers like myself who trust that if the menu is in a
foreign language and the customers are speaking what appears
to be that language, they must know what they’re doing.
Owner Mehmet Ozdemi opened the place 10 months
ago. In addition to his wife’s help -- she opens at
6 a.m.; he arrives later and closes up after 11 p.m. nightly
– Chef Muarrem Kakutu brings 50 years experience to
The best part about The Kebab House is that
it’s a total Foodie adventure; to one side of the restaurant,
shelves are stocked with Turkish groceries – honey,
olives, Turkish coffee and strong black teas preferred by
Turks – plus a variety of pastas, rice and the dry goods.
On the other side, refrigerators are stocked with cheeses,
yogurt and the fruit-based soft drinks that are popular in
Eastern Europe. (Note to pomegranate juice devotees: it’s
less expensive here that in specialty stores.) Just browsing
is an experience.
The Kebab House is open seven days and adventurers
The Kebab House
1815 Deer Park Avenue
Atmosphere: authentic Turkish
cuisine in an extremely casual (plastic forks and tray service)
Price Range: Inexpensive
Hours: Open 7 days
6 a.m. to 11 p.m.