Turkish and Lebanese in Sunnyside
Anyone been to the spots that Serious Eats hit up? http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0...
I have not been to Grill 43 since it changed from Habibi, but Souk El Shater is the real deal and probably why he lasted longer than his brother. I disagree with Max though, it is fun to eat on that slim counter and watch people come in for their groceries and gossip with the owners.
I would say Mangal Kebab is about an average place.
I used to regularly frequent Souk El Shater for shawarma, but maybe a year ago they took on a former cook from Habibi who now handles the prepared foods and it just isn't as good anymore. Previously, the sandwiches were a filling meal in their own right, but the ex-Habibi guy is pretty stingy with the fillings. Now, if I do go, I only go when that guy isn't working.
Last time I went to Souk El Shater, I ordered falafel. They served it on stale pita bread. How about warming it up on the grill? Grill 43 was the worst. Got another falafel sandwich. Every place puts hummus on the bread, before they put the falafel on it. They did not. That's falafel 101. Mangal is the best. Always consistent. Great hummus.
I haven't been to Grill 43, but frequent take-out from Souk El Shater and Mangal.
Souk El Shater has decent falafel (better than most I've had allover the city), and the mentioned steam table is my favorite - everything I've tried was really-really good. Pretty generous portions, too. Any stew with eggplant stands out in my memory. They also make some meat pies (like cornish pies) that are very good.
Mangal makes a good Lachmajun, their baba ganoush is best, nicely balanced IMO, and their house bread is amazing. Soups always good, stuffed peppers (special of the day) delicious. I rate them above average, I really like that place.
Don't avoid desserts at either place, worth trying.