Monday, August 13, 2012

Anatolia Doner Kebab

Anatolia Doner Kebab
521 Central Avenue NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

What an interesting place this is!  Located just off the downtown strip, this tucked away restaurant sits quietly near the intersection of 6th and Central.  Upon walking into the restaurant, a very casual atmosphere is present.  There are concrete floors, an open ceiling painted black, and minimal décor.  We were unsure if we should order at the front counter or if our order would be taken at the table.  At first we sat and then we went to the counter, which has to go menus lying on the short ledge of space and several other items in front of the cash register.  The kitchen is open and the owner/chef, Mehmet Kokangul, is on site and cooking.  After you place your order, you’ll take a seat at a table covered with both a red tablecloth and a clear plastic cover.  There are pictures of Turkish scenes on the walls and a TV mounted on the wall streaming Turkish music videos, which were sometimes interesting and at other times grating.  The overall look and feel of the restaurant is chaotic, but take heart dear readers – the food is worth it!

We ordered the two daily specials –Chicken and Beef Kebab plate that came with rice, salad, pita bread, and cacik (yogurt sauce), and we ordered the Chicken Kebab plate that came with the same side items.  We also ordered both desserts – the pistachio baklava and the Kadayif (Kad–a–yeuf) which was a bar of coconut, sugar syrup, and walnuts.

All the food at Anatolia is made to order.  Mehmet and his staff were extremely friendly and open.  We asked for pronunciations of the foods and they were delighted to explain things to us and tell us about their language.  The food came to our table in about ten minutes looking and smelling delicious. 

The Chicken and Beef Kebab plate was beautifully presented and the pita was warm and soft; delicious dipped in the cacik.  The rice on this plate was cold unfortunately, but the meat was savory and extremely flavorful.  The salad was delightful with an unexpected mint vinaigrette and the vegetables were very fresh. 

Chicken and Beef Kebab

The Chicken Kebab plate was just as lovely and the rice on that plate was steaming hot.  We found the meat on both plates just a little salty, but once dipped in the cacik, it was perfect.  The entire meal was very delicious and we both had enough to take home for lunch the next day.
Chicken Kebab Plate
The dessert portions were small; two pieces each of the Baklava and the coconut dish, but they were enough and a quite delicious way to end the meal.  The Baklava was crisp and sweet without being overly so, and the coconut dish was delightfully toasted and very good.
Baklava (triange pieces) and Kadayif (rectangles)

Overall we found the meal to be perfectly satisfying and delicious.  The ambience of the restaurant lacks appeal, but the food makes up for that tenfold.  We found we wanted to try several other things on the menu and plan to return soon to do so. 

Anatolia Doner Kebab Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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