TURKISH FOOD COMES TO STOUGHTON: Stoughton has a brand new restaurant serving Turkish food, and it's become an immediate hit.
Chicken Kebab is opened downtown, next to Olivio's Pizza place. There's plenty of parking in front, and in the old Pacheco Hardware parking lot.
Ali Kemal Aykurt, who is a native of Turkey, is the owner. I brought in School Committee member Dr. Erdem Ural, also a native of Turkey, to be interpretor of language and food for me.
Aykurt, who has worked in a number of restaurants, and owned the most recent one in New York City, was traveling in our area with a friend from Easton looking for a place to open up his concept here.
Once he saw the old Kabob House location (which was forced to close when heavy snow collapsed the roof of the building next door back in January 2011), he thought it was perfect. He's been paying rent to the owner there since October 1, 2012, and finally was able to open late last Friday.
The restaurant features hot and cold appetizers, with outstanding homemade hummus (chick peas blended with lemon juice, olive oil and herbs/$5.95), baba ganoush (eggplant/$4.95), stuffed grape leaves (vine leaves stuffed with rice, pignolia nuts, and cooked in olive oil/$4.95), and Falafel (deep friend chick peas and vegetables, blended with middle eastern spices/$6.50).
There are a myriad of salad choices, from Greek Salad, shepards's salad (Coban), fish salad (with mixed fish), Turkish-style potato salad, and bean salad. Small salads are $5.95, and larger ones are $6.95. You can add marinated meats and fish to the salads, for as little as $2.50.
There are a variety of hot soups, including lentil, chicken egg & lemon, fish, mixed veggie, and tomato soup with fresh basil. All come with their delicious homemade bread. They are all $3.95.
There's seafood, featuring fish n' chips ($11.95), grilled salmon ($16.95), whole striped bass ($17.50), and whole brook trout (Alabalik) for $16.95. They all come with sauteed vegetables and a choice of rice. I loved the Bulghur (orange cracked wheat rice), as well as the plain Turkish white rice, which is boiled in butter and water.
There are specials offered every day. I tried the Izmir Kofte (Turkish meatballs) and Salmon Stew. Both were delicious. They also offer a Moussaka special that is very popular. Specials vary in price.
I tried the mixed Adana Lamb and Chicken entree, cooked to perfection, and served on a bed of yogurt sauce. They offer many entrees that feature the chicken, lamb, and fish, with a variety of cooking styles. They also offer Doner and Adana kebabs, as well as chicken and lamb kebabs.
For those with more pedestrian tastes, check out the pasta dishes, which also feature lamb, chicken or salmon. They offer Turkish-style burgers ($5.95), and Turkish-style plates (starting at $13.95), which include rice, sauteed vegetables, yogurt sauce, and choice of homemade bread.
But, save room! The desserts are magnificent! Their homemade baklava is fantastic, with varieties that have pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts. The rice pudding was the best I ever had! Desserts are all $3.95.
Word of mouth is already spreading. Attorney Ethan Schaff, who has an office downtown, was thrilled with Chicken Kebab. "This place is just fantastic," he told me, "I think they need to spread the word beyond Stoughton's borders. Stoughton can be a difficult crowd. He really deserves a PR push. It's exquisite food."
Chicken Kebab does catering, and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. Ali is looking to hire an additional Turkish cook, as well as a waitress and cashier. Stop by and see him! They are at 756 Washington Street, and their number is 781-436-8452. Fax number is 781-436-8453.
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY: to Candace Fisher, an active volunteer in Stoughton, who is on the Council on Aging; and to bartender Christine Carleton of Stoughton.