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Nov 18, 2008 08:37 AM

non-fancy Turkish food? (NoVA or DC pref.)

So the quality at Simit and Kabob in Fairfax had been going down, and now they're gone. Anyone have an idea for a substitute? I briefly lived in Ankara and am looking for more "working class" kind of food, not a special occasion-type place. Bonus points for simit or Iskendar kebab or lamb pide, extra special super bonus points for dondurma.

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  1. Temel maybe? Don't know if it's "working class" but their kebabs and koftas are tasty and simply prepared.

    3232 Old Pickett Rd, Fairfax, VA 22031

    1 Reply
    1. re: monkeyrotica

      Oooh, looks like they have pide, even if they call it "pizza". Thanks!

    2. Cenan's Bakery on Branch Street in Vienna sells simit along with a couple of other Turkish baked goods.

      When we visited Turkey, we ate copious amounts of Iskander kebab. Once home, we asked the owner of Kazan's (in McLean), where we usually eat Turkish, why they called their dish Donnerkebab when it seemed to be Iskander kebab. They responded by saying that Iskendar kebab is a copyrighted name by the family who created the dish so Kazan's simply calls its preparation "Donnerkebab."

      Having eaten at Kazan's at least once a month for the 26 years it has been in business, I don't think of the restaurant as a special-occasion place. On the other hand, I certainly don't think it qualifies as working-class place. Nizam's level of formality (in Vienna) would be no different in my opinion.

      As for dondurma, I suggest you phone Cenan's and ask if they sell it or can special order it for you. I know with certainty that they have refrigerator cases for many of their products; I don't know whether they also have freezer cases to store your beloved dondurma.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Indy 67

        I didn't know that about Iskander. Weird.

        I will have to check out Cenan's the next time I am buying comix in Vienna. Thanks!

      2. There's a place on the south end of Adams Morgan (18th and T), I think it's called Rosemary's Thyme, which I think would like to be Turkish, but they fill out the menu with a bunch of pan-Mediterranean items. Went a couple of years ago with a friend who had lived in Turkey and she gave it a thumbs up.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Doh

          There's also a Rosemary's in Clifton (Faifrax Cty.) which my girlfriend and I frequent almost once a week. Love their food. Can't vouch for how authentic it is, but everything I've ever had tastes homemade and satisfying. And I know they have pides. My favorite app. is their sauteed calamari (with tomatoes, walnut and fresh lime), and for entrees my regulars are their lamb with eggplant, any of their kabobs (come on a sizzling platter with delecious saucy beans and rice), grilled salmon, and any of their salads. Their wood fired pizzas are also great. Good happy hour prices on drinks and wine before 7 pm.

          Temel is very good, but a tad bit pricier and the atmosphere if more formal.

          1. re: Meg

            Thank you Doh and Meg! I am making a list...

        2. cafe 8 in eastern market has wonderful pides and a variety of other types of mediterranean food. i know one of the owners very personally and he is quite Turkish. the ekmek may be the best i've had in the area. definitely check it out

          1 Reply
          1. Does Levante's in Dupont Circle fit the bill? I've never been despite my best efforts.

            1 Reply
            1. re: WestIndianArchie

              I haven't been to Levante in a while but the last few times I went I was quite under-whelmed. Try Cafe Divan on Wisconsin - it's a very casual and inexpensive place that also does delivery and take-out and is quite good (according to my Turkish friends and southeast European husband). And yes they serve pides as well. I second Kazan - very good food.