Any good Turkish food in Queens???
My cousin and a friend are coming in from Pennsylvania and the friend is seriously into Turkish cusine. Unfortunately I know absolutely nothing about this type of food. Does anyone have a suggestion??
The two options I have are :
Take Out - Mangal in Sunnyside. Nice sandwiches on homemade Turkish flatbread,
Sit Down - Kebab Cafe in Little Neck. Great eggplant salads and stuffed cabbage, etc.
Istanbul is okay in Rego Park but the atmosphere leaves something to be desired...Hemsin used to be pretty good in Sunnyside but it's been replaced by a Turkish Seafood place, and it's alot pricier and what I've read about it seems to indicate small portions---but it might be worth a try. If you want to go into Manhattan, one of the best Turkish places is Ali Baba right on 34th st between 2nd and 3rd ave..it's excellent and really good value. They have a really good lunch special also, and excellent chicken kebab, and Coban salad, etc.............Also in Manhattan around 27 or 28th st and 3rd ave is Turkish Kitchen which has a nice atmosphere, more expensive than Ali Baba, but a popular place--although I prefer the food at Ali Baba. I didn't really care for the food at Kebab Cafe the couple times I went in Little Neck although they are very nice there.
Kebab House in Little Neck went throught about a year of serious downhill decline but has brought itself back up again to previus stellar heights. My extended family has been eating there for years especially my great aunt who eats there at least once a week. The owner is a very nice man who had alot of problems with losing chef/nephew and didn't want to acknowledge that things had gone downhill. He finally got it when biz dropped off significantly.
There are often groups of turkish folks dining there any day of the week and he sometimes closes the space for private parties (only seats around 40 - 50 max)
anyway the good news is that the food and portions are really good.
our favorites are the fried liver appetizer, the calamari with really good garlic sauce (tender calamari too), coban salad, incredible version of baba ganoush (don't call it that) ,
sometimes we just order doubles of all of those and make a mezze meal
my son also likes the hummous (I am not a big fan0 they give you grilled pita like bread which when hot is quite tasty)
for mains some favorites are the chicken chops - basically 3 chicken legs/thighs boned in such a way to look like a chop - very tasty
also like the lamb burgers
but really like the apps best
some like the spinach pie - not my fav, nor was I ever impressed with the dolmati
somehow when we deviate from our favorites we are dissappointed .
but love, love, love the food there
and yes it's worth traveling for!
There are good places way out in Brooklyn and also in New Jersey, but in Queens all the action is on a strip of Queens Boulevard between 39 and 47 street. There's Marmara, Turkish Grill, Mangal, and probably several others I'm forgetting. I haven't tried most of them so I can't comment on quality.
Same here. We like Turkish grill for sit-down. I go to Mangal for takeout often as well -- the lentil soup at Mangal is really great, too. My favorite light meal to get takeout. By the way I've been wondering, does anyone know about the place that replaced Hemsin? I know it's got a seafood focus, but is it still Turkish? Any good?
yes, turkish grill is solid and charming atmosphere too. gets busy for both lunch and dinner. unfortunately the young female owner doesn't have her heart in it. i've done a ton of take out orders both large and small and she is completely unappreciative and sometimes went out of her way to avoid having to work a little. i've started to use istanbul restaurant. those guys are super nice, very accomodating. i will say food isn't as great but they work hard and will deliver. turkish won't deliver for me, go figure.