Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.
It’s a Friday in lent. What’s a good Catholic going to eat? Pizza? Greens Kutabs? Fried Clams? A Bob Salad? Pancakes? Potato Vareniki? All good choices, but not right for this Friday night. I simply can’t make up my mind.
But why should I have to choose? Yes, it’s lent and self-denial is one of the tenets of the faith, but I’m always a bit naughty. No outright sin mind you, but I’m going to push the envelope a little. Tonight, it’s the “mixed appetizers” plate from Anatolian Gyro.
The mixed appetizer plate ($14.00) is my go to dish when I don’t want or can’t have meat. This is Anatolian Gyro’s version of an “everything but the kitchen sink” dish; all of their cold appetizers on one plate.
- Humus – creamy, garlicky and just a little tart from lemon juice.
- Eggplant Salad – char-grilled eggplant pureed with garlic, tomato and herbs. This tastes like it just came off my grill.
- Piyaz – a white bean, red pepper and onion salad. Easily my favorite dish on the plate. Where do they get such large white beans?
- Baba Ghanoush – grilled eggplant pureed with tahini, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice.
- Tabule – cracked wheat, scallions and parsley with tomatoes and lemon juice. The perfect ending to the meal, even with the scallions, this clears your breath and your palette.
- Mixed Eggplant – Fried small pieces of eggplant mixed with garlic and tomato sauce.
- Beet Salad – beets, carrots and dill salad. Sweet beets with a great vinegary dressing. Outstanding.
- Pan-Fried Eggplant – fried slices of eggplant. Fried. Need I say more?
- Russian Salad – basically a take on the classic Hellman’s version with some carrots, pickles and peas for added crunch.
- Stuffed Grape Leaves – rice and seasoning all wrapped up in neat little package.
This is a hell of a meal. Almost every conceivable food texture and color is represented here. Crunchy beets, carrots and pickles. Creamy and smooth chick peas, tahini and pureed eggplant. Snappy acidic dressings on the piyaz, beet salad and tabule. Red beets, white beans, green parsley and orange carrots. All scooped up with their incredibly light, crusty and tasty Turkish home bread topped with sesame seeds.
It may be lent, but I’m in heaven.
Anatolian Gyro, 1605 Sheepshead Bay Road, (718) 769-4754.