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89th And Broke

I'm a young professional living in Astoria (formerly of Williamsburg, the UES and Murray Hill - I move a lot!). I'm always looking for something fun to do or the best place to grab a drink and dinner at an affordable price around the city. Have a suggestion? Email me at Laura AT 89thandbroke DOT com.

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Middle Eastern Food, Strike 2

Headed over to Turkish Kitchen for dinner the other night because we had a 20% off coupon.  I won’t leave you in suspense – I’m starting to think I might not like Middle Eastern food that isn’t served from a street cart.

I walked into Turkish Kitchen, and immediately smelled a whiff of B.O.  It was a real pleasant way to start a dining experience.  Luckily after about 5 minutes, the smell went away, or I just happened to get used to it.  Regardless, Turkish Kitchen wasn’t really an intimate dining experience – it was really loud and the service to me was really strange. We ordered a few appetizers, and it just seemed weird to me that instead of placing the appetizers on the table and letting me pick up various appetizers and put on my plate at my leisure, they had to serve you right away.  For example, we ordered grape leaves and instead of leaving the plate of them on my table, the server immediately put two on each of our dishes, and then removed the plate immediately.  Maybe the whole restaurant just had a real weird service vibe – one of us had brought luggage with to the meal after coming back from a business trip, and we watched servers try to give away the luggage to every patron who exited the restaurant.  Anyways, back to the meal…in addition to grape leaves, we ordered manti, which are beef dumplings in a garlic yogurt sauce.  The sauce to me was extremely sour tasting and it was my least favorite dish.  The zucchini pancakes weren’t great either,  but I ate them just because I felt like I had to eat something.  The highlight of the appetizers, was the free bread on the table and I guess it’s a bad economy because we weren’t even served any type of butter.

For dinner, I ordered a filet mignon skewer with vegetables, traditional rice and pan-fried potatoes.  After reading Kitchen Confidential and learning that it’s best to get your meat rare to medium rare to ensure you get the best parts of the beef, I went with the medium rare.  What I didn’t expect was that my cow was still mooing.  Even after I brought the dish home and reheated it in the microwave, I swear the beef was undercooked.  Did I send it back? Of course not.  While I’m not 100% sure it was undercooked, I am 100% sure it was salty.

As far as the side dishes go, the traditional rice was great.  I could have probably eaten a whole bowl of it on on its own.  The vegetables were good too, with both mushrooms and peppers from the skewers.  The potatoes however resembled breakfast potatoes I’ve eaten on a Sunday morning at the Marist College cafeteria.

Overall, I will not be returning back to Turkish Kitchen.  There was no ambiance and the food was a little below mediocre, at best.  Dinner wasn’t even cheap – appetizers were each about 8 dollars and my entree was $24.  Honestly, it’s sad when the highlight of the meal is the fact that I was able to bring most of my entree home – and I was happy not because the food was good, but because I didn’t have to worry about making lunch the next day.

The Basics
Name: Turkish Kitchen
Location: 386 Third Avenue (between 27th and 28th)
Who to take: Friends
Price:  One less drink at the bar next week.  $$$.
Overall: I will never be returning, but not the worst meal of my life.  2 stars.

Turkish Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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