Saturday, January 31, 2015

Istanbul Grill: Not your average Doner

Restaurant: Istanbul Grill
Address: 5613 Morningside Drive, Houston, Texas 77005
Buffet or a-la-carte: A-la-carte
Date of visit: 1/23/15

Photo Credit:

Salam/hey guys! After a while, I am back! Today I will be revieweing Istanbul Grill. Istanbul Grill is the oldest halal Turkish restaurant in Houston. This place opened up in 1998. This has been regarded as one of the more popular Turkish places in town. My class got cancelled, so I had time to eat somewhere before going back to campus to attend Friday Prayers. I really wanted to go somewhere that is cheap and healthy and near campus. Since last June, I have lost 16 pounds. Part of the reason it took long was because I broke my toe in October, which prevented me from going to the gym and forcing me to give up until the start of this semester. I ended up going here.

Let The Experience Begin!
Istanbul Grill is located very near to Pasha, and the Rice Village location of Torchy's Tacos. It is located adjacent to Rice Village and Rice University. It is tricky to get to the parking lot. I was literally the first customer to enter the restaurant for the day. In fact, I was so early that I got to the restaurant and was able to finish my homework and then go in. There was traditional Turkish music playing and a TV showing highlights of a soccer game. I was allowed to sit wherever I wanted. After looking at the menu, I was ready to order.

Let's Eat!
I decided to go light and healthy by going for a Doner Kebap sandwich. I also had a tight budget. To drink, I had Turkish tea in the traditional glass. Water was free. I paid a total of $9.61 (tax included). The waiting time was 10 minutes and 41 seconds. As I was waiting, I saw the doner kebap being made, meaning that it was fresh!

This restaurant has the same Turkish favorites such as the different kebaps, lahmacun, pide, and baklava. Regarding the price, it is pricey, but not as much as Empire Turkish Grille. This place does serve alcohol though.

The Doner Kebap

The Verdict:
Compared to other doner kebaps that I have had, they didn't have the white sauce. They instead gave a very small sauce, which I am assuming to be a red sauce that is common in Turkish food. They had it in bunches near the kitchen. I took a bite of the doner kebap without the sauce; bad decision. It had no taste whatsoever. I am a big fan of Turkish food, but this wasn't that great. But when I put the sauce in, it was much better. Sources tell me that the doner kebap without the sauce is more authentic. Maybe if there was some sumac with the onions, it would definitely add more taste. The food was washed down with a nice glass of Turkish tea. One thing I didn't get is that they didn't have those sugar cubes. I normally put 1-2 in my glass. Instead, there was packets of Splendora.
The service was good though. The people were really friendly.

Just the sauce for the doner prevented me from giving this place a low grade. They should consider putting in sumac to make the doner kebap taste better. For the doner kebap, I would recommend you go somewhere else. I also suggest that the restaurant does a lunch special. Since it is located near a major university, I believe that having a lunch special would attract the students that are on a budget. Since the good balanced with the bad, I will be nice on the grading.

Service: 8.5/10
Food: 6.5/10
Waiting Time: 10/10
Total: 25/30 = 83.3% (B)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$

Restaurant Information:
Istanbul Grill
5613 Morningside Drive, Houston, Texas 77005
Phone: (713) 526-2800
Timings: Mon: closed; Tue-Sun: 11 AM - 10 PM
Caters: Yes

Feel free to comment below, send me an email, or message me on Facebook or Twitter!

Zain Mohammed

1 comment:

  1. Hello zain , we have a halal pizza place in Houston called tastee pizza, addrress is 6455 Hillcroft , Houston , Texas , 77081, phone number is 7137778222, we have variety of desi flavour pizza's, please give is a try , thank you