Where to Anatolia Kebab House in Brookline, where homestyle Turkish dishes are the specialties of the house.
Why Because who doesn’t need a well-made kebab prepared by a chef who knows at least a dozen ways to make it?
The back story Rize, Anatolia, in northeast Turkey on the Black Sea, is the home region of restaurant owners Ahmet and Ayse Ozseferoglu. In 2004, they opened Family Restaurant in Brookline, in the same storefront as Anatolia Kebab House. The original name came from the idea that a family was preparing the food and the town was a family friendly place, says son Cihan (pronounced Gee-an), a student at MassBay Community College, who manages the restaurant’s social media. A few years ago, the Ozseferoglu family — which includes another son, Cumali, who cooks and waits tables, and a daughter, Gulbahar, a student at Wentworth, who also waits tables — added many more Turkish specialties to the menu and took the name of their native region.
What to eat The restaurant opens at breakfast and also serves dinner, so there’s an array of American pancake and egg dishes, but also a typical Turkish breakfast with cheese, eggs, salad, and olives. It comes with homemade pita, which is a thicker bread than you might be expecting with quite good flavor. Lunch and dinner offer a large selection of Anatolian food. You can still get a club or a sub, but there’s also an array of Turkish pizzas (pideler), which are flatbreads that include lahmacun, spread with ground lamb, or another dough rolled up with cheese in the boat-shaped kashar pide. All the kebabs come as sandwiches, wrapped in the house bread or lavash, with a salad and hummus, baba ghanoush, or eggplant salad. Or order them as entrees, when they arrive with rice and bulgur, grilled vegetables (a whole, hot chile pepper and big wedges of tomato), and an onion salad. Adana kebab is made with ground lamb that’s shaped onto skewers and grilled; kofte are ground meatballs, flattened and grilled. Most kebabs also come on a yogurt sauce with bread croutons. Milky rice pudding, called sutlac, is simple and outstanding. Everything is made in-house by Ahmet and Ayse and chef Resit Bayan. All meats are Halal.
What to drink An array of Turkish sodas, Turkish pilsner, Turkish coffee, tea in traditional glass cups, cocktails, and wine.
The takeaway During the pandemic, the family got a permit from the town to set tables on the sidewalk, and when it’s mild out, even in winter, if customers want to eat outside, the staff will serve you. Everyone is extremely friendly (they brought me tea while I waited for my takeout order) and they know their menu. This is regional Turkish food cooked by people who have prepared it their whole lives. You know this when you taste it. 305 Washington St. Brookline, 617-277-4466, www.anatoliaofficial.com