Turkish

I’m a huge fan of Turkish food, particularly the delicious version of gyro / doner kebab / lamb cuts that they make. It’s a little bit different from the typical Greek gyro meat you get around town – less processed, more grilled, and very delicious. The meaning of doner kebab literally means “rotating roast” as the stack of meats is cooked via a rotating spit roasted over a fire.

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Shishco Mezze and Grill is located in a strange building in the middle of a parking lot in Maitland. It used to be Fast Eddie’s Famous Burgers, then a smoothie joint, and a hot dog joint, among others. You order up at the window, kind of like at Checkers without a drive-thru. The spot only has a few picnic tables for seating outside, so most folks might want to take it to go.

Mehmet Tanriver and Mehmet Gurkaynak, owner partners of Shishco Mezze and Grill in Maitland started their first restaurant in 2003 in Turkey. Shishco means chubby, mezze means Mediterranean appetizers – put it together you have chubby Turkish appetizers.

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The partners moved to Orlando from Adana, a southern part of Turkey near the Mediterranean coast, cooking everything fresh with free range beef and chicken. One loves cooking falafel and zucchini pancakes while the other enjoys cooking chicken wings and kofte – grilled ground beef patties blended with garlic, onion, and spices.

On a recent visit for lunch, I ordered the gyro bowl, a generous bowl with a large lavash flat bread base overflowing with bulgur wheat grain, sliced pickled red onion, chopped tomatoes, and slices of beef and lamb doner / gyro. It was one of the best lunches I’ve had in a long time and would go back again just for this.

Go and try them out as soon as possible!
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Shishco Mezze and Grill
118 Lake Ave, Maitland, FL 32751
Phone:(407) 661-1336
Menu: shishcomezzegrill.com

Shish.Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Turkish food is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, prevalent throughout the Mediterranean reaching from Central Asia to the Balkans and even Greece, a remnant of the influence held by the long standing Ottoman empire of days past. The Turkish empire continues to expand even today, well, at least as part of Central Florida’s culinary world.

Cappadocia Turkish Cuisine took over the long time standing Cafe Italiano restaurant on Semoran Blvd a year or so ago. The interior is very much like what you would expect a Turkish restaurant would look like after minor renovations  to an Italian restaurant – additions of hookahs, some paintings of Turkish seaside. Italy and Turkey are after all both Mediterranean countries. It kind of felt like walking into a Turkish family’s dining room and, in a way, like crashing a family dinner as we were the only non-Turkish in the house at lunch. Several other diners all appeared to be conversing in Turkish with the owners – always a good sign for an authentic experience.

Service here is a bit of a hit and miss, though, with some need of polishing around the edges.

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Sesame toasted pide bread – lovely, slightly sweet Turkish bread…

The restaurant is named after the eponymous Cappadocia, the historic region in Turkey known for its beautiful rock fairy chimneys and rock cut temples, coming from a name of the ancient Turkic kingdom dating back to before the time of Alexander the Great.

For our appetizer, my dining companion and I order the cigarette borek, tasty little cylindrical scrolls of pan fried Phyllo (shaped like tiny cigarettes) stuffed with feta cheese, savory and crunchy.

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Cigarette borek, stuffed with feta cheese

Calf livers from Cappadocia Turkish
Fried Calf livers from Cappadocia Turkish – a popular appetizer, but ultimately, not for me.

For our entrees, I had an exceptional chicken adana kebab platter over fragrant rice pilaf with lettuce and tomatoes and my companion had a similarly tasty beyti kabab made with skewered lamb mixed with parsley and garlic. Our only complaint is that we wish we had more of the lovely skewered meats.

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Chicken Adana Kebab – Chopped chicken flavored with paprika and red bell peppers, grilled on skewers – $6.99

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Beyti Kebab – Lamb flavored with parsley and garlic, then grilled on skewers and served with homemade pide bread and rice – $6.99

Doner kebab is a Turkish dish made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, normally lamb but also a mixture of veal or beef with these, or sometimes chicken. The dish is also widely known by its Arabic name “shawarma” or the Greek name “gyros”. The doner here is made by hand in house, rather than the processed gyro meats that we are used to at the Mediterranean stalls at the mall food courts.

Here at Cappadocia, you can order your doner with rice or as a sandwich in between two slices of fatty pide bread. Make sure to specify which one you want. The lamb gyro (doner kebab) sandwich is now one of my favorite sandwiches, and also one of the most filling sandwiches I’ve had in a while with layers of sliced lamb stuffed in the warm, fluffy sesame toasted Turkish pide bread along with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, lathered with some spicy sauce and tzatziki.

I would definitely return for some more Turkish delights.

Gyro Lamb doner sandwich
Gyro Lamb doner sandwich – Döner served in a “tombik pide” (“fatty” pita)
Gyro Lamb doner sandwich
Gyro Lamb doner sandwich – Döner served in a “tombik pide” (“fatty” pita)
Lamb Gyro Platter with rice and tomato and lettuce - so good
Lamb Gyro Platter with rice and tomato and lettuce – so good
Turkish Lavash bread!
Turkish Lavash bread!

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Turkish cinnamon tea

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Traditional Baklava for dessert

 

Cappadoccia on Urbanspoon

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