Turkish flavors for the whole fam-damly
For a long time, I walked past Brookline Family Restaurant and barely turned to glance in the window. Call me biased (or just plain cynical), but any eatery bearing the word “Family” in its name conjures up memories of congealing grilled-cheese sandwiches and bowls of greasy soup from pit-stop lunches at Chili’s and the Ground Round. Little did I know that this former pizza parlor later turned Greek restaurant is now (ironically) Turkish, and that its authentic cuisine frequently packs in a respectable and sundry crowd.
Still, there probably exists one obvious point of continuity among the three cultures that have cooked and served under this roof: portion size. And although I can’t speak to the quality of the previous establishments, I can say that those who come here hungry for Turkish fare will be thoroughly rewarded.
It’s far too easy to fill up on the warm, soft hunks of seed-studded bread that accompany a complimentary bright kidney-bean and cucumber salad, but the spring-roll-like feta-and-dill-stuffed cheese phyllo ($5.50) is too tasty to pass up. Better yet, save some bread for dipping in the hearty red-lentil soup ($2.50/cup; $3.50/bowl). Or dunk a slice of kashar-cheese pita ($11.50). Not quite a shout out to Neapolitan-style pie, the doughy pizza resembles a heartier French-bread version loaded with cheese slightly tangier than mozzarella.
What lingers in the air, though, is the aroma of meat on the charcoal grill. Lamb dishes dominate the menu, but the chicken shish kebab ($11.95), juicy and piquant from a flavorful marinade, more than holds its own on a layer of rice pilaf, barley, and salad.
Somehow still hungry? You can come back for both breakfast and lunch.
Brookline Family Restaurant, 350 Washington Street, Brookline | Daily 7 am to 11 pm | 617.277.4466
: On The Cheap
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