Anka Grill Offers Pricey Turkish Options

Lexington Ave. in between 54th and 55th is a great block to grab lunch on. You’ve got Clarke’s Standard, Glaze Teriyaki, and Sur Empanada Factory. And now you can also get Turkish food thanks to the newly arrived Anka Turkish Grill.

Anka to me feels a bit like a Turkish Naya Express, but with many more options. You can get pitas, sandwiches, and bowls with a variety of meats, from lamb adana to chicken doner. You can also get pide, which are sort of like Turkish pizzas, although they unfortunately all cost more than $10. There are also a number of appetizers like stuffed grape leaves and hummus, as well as desserts like baklava and rice pudding. The pides that I saw looked really good, but I chose the lamb adana bowl in order to stay under the Midtown Lunch limit (and just barely, at $9.55).

For the cost, I was disappointed to see that the bowl comes with only one adana kebab. You can double the meat, but it’ll cost you $13.95. So, anticipating the need for more food, I chose to pile on the sides – shepherd salad, hummus, red cabbage, and onions. Together with the rice and a piece of flatbread, it actually made for a pretty filling meal.

The lamb adana itself was good, but not great. It wasn’t cooked to order, which explains why it was a little dry. It also lacked the spicy kick you usually get with adana. Luckily, the hot sauce and tzatziki-like yogurt sauce that came on the side added heat and moisture.

The accompanying rice was surprisingly good and well seasoned. The sides were alright, but a bit of an afterthought. Saving the day was the hummus and flatbread. The bread was whole grain, I think, and studded with sesame seeds. It was perfect for scooping hummus and making mini-sandwiches with the lamb. The dish also came with a few pickle slices, which I’d never had with Turkish food before but went really well with the lamb.

Anka seems to be a good, quick option if you’re looking for Turkish food, and the addition of pides gives it something other Turkish restaurants don’t always offer. But for the price, I’d expect more quality from the fast-ish food joint, or at least more food.

Anka Grill, 642 Lexington Ave. (btw 54th + 55th), (646) 692-6494


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