Zeytin, Turkish in Ada MI
I recently got fed here. Dinner and lunch were both delicious, the coleslaw type salad with lunch was one we kept tasting trying to figure out the dressing. MMMM. Have the takeout menu for the glovebox..Worth a drive.
400 Ada Drive SE
I live very near Zeytin and while I like the place, am not sure it is worth a one hour drive. But that may partly be because it is new. My kids like the kebab. Now that said, I noticed that they feature music some nights (the Grand Rapids Press weekend section that comes out on Thursdays will have details). That combined with trying something new might just be worth the drive.
For the dinner I had Ispankli Tavuk(Spinach Chicken)$13
Grilled cubes of marinated Chicken served on top of sauteed spinach and artichoke With a yogurt dipping sauce. My friend had Beef Hummus $13 cubed beef and lamb pan seared, green and red bell peppers, onions served with hummus. She had them leave out the peppers, but the hummus(in this dish) is more like chick peas done as mashed potatoes. as appetizer we had dolmas(stuffed grape leaves)$6 their take out menu says its grape leaves stuffed with Rice,herbs,currants and pinenuts.but I think it was lamb too, and I didn't find any currants or pine nuts.also on the table a dish of olives, herb dipping sauce(Olive oil based), butter and pita bread and what I would say was Talamee(spelling) bread. we also had Sutlac (rice pudding)a rich and creamy rice dish that is oven baked and topped with cinnamon, served cold. There was live music coming in as we were leaving...maybe about 7:30pm.
My lunch there was lentil soup, more cubed chicken and the coleslaw salad I initially mentioned.
How to describe Turkish food.. You need to like yogurt, lamb, veggies, chick peas, eggplant,feta type cheese, highly sugary flakey, nutty pastries(baklava)lots of spices. Lemons. Olives and olive oil.
Ever eaten Gyros at a street fair, or had baklava? or eaten at an Olgas or Pita House? Hummus from the grocery store is a bland version of homemade. I've also seen meat pies and dolmas from "steve's Back door' in Meijers, ok but I'd rather make homemade but batches are usually big and labor intensive. You can buy some canned stuff in Meijers in the Ethnic aile but fresh is better.
Grand Rapids used to have "Lebanese, if you Please", and I think Sam"s Oasis is still on Kalamazoo, and Pita Houses are around, but Zeytin is a sit down (on Turkish rugs in a booth), cloth napkin, waiters,nice lighting, well presented food type place, with a big menu to try whatever sounds good.
Try the library or bookstore for cookbooks about Middle Eastern food to get an idea of the ingredients.
Sounds pretty fabulous. Ann Arbor has an excellent Turkish restaruant too: Ayse's, at 1703 Plymouth Rd. It's a bit hard to find (doesn't face the road), but dollar for dollar I think it's the best food in town. Order at the counter, and then they bring out the food. Five or six entrees per night, of which three or even four may be lamb. Best stuffed pepper dish in existence. Vegetarians can do well with large variety of sides.
Thanks Nell, I think I will drive over there sometime this summer when the weather is nice. It sounds like a good place with a lot of variety. I have eaten Gyros and Baklava at Two Choppers, which is downtown Grand Rapids and is a really great Mediteranian Deli. My wife makes really good hummus too. So it sounds like it is very similar to general Mediteranian food, which I really like. I'll post after I try it to let you know how I liked it.
re: Adventurous Mark
We live in Ada so are fortunate that this is a 5 minute drive for us. I love this restaurant. In fact we are eating carry out from there right now. I have the chicken kabobs. They are a little bit dry but OH SO Tasty. I Love them. The rice is also VERY VERY good. moist. My mom always gets the Lamb chops they are french cut. VERY VERY good. My kids the beef gyros and fries. The soups are good. they have a flaming cheese they serve i n the restaurant but they dont yell OPA. turkish food is a blend of Greek and middle eastern food. i love bot of those. This is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Grand Rapids. Enough said. Veryy nice inside. they also have a bar. and you can order Turkish beer. The owner is very friendly. The staff are all friendly and responsive. Great place. My other favorite place is a new asian restaurant in Lowell on Fulton. Called the Mynt Fusion Bistro. serving up a variety of thai / chinese/ korean food. excellent food there too.