This past Thursday evening was GNO (Girls Night Out). Ever since our Tupperware days, I have been considered one of the girls so I get to tag along;-) A group of us, anchored by Maureen, have been getting together about once a month for a few years now. We typically meet at an East End Ottawa (formerly Gloucester) restaurant and this time, the chosen location was the Little Turkish Village on St. Joseph Blvd. in Orleans.
As we pulled into the parking lot in the pouring rain, it became apparent that hard economic times were not in evidence here. Parking spots were rarer than stripes on a leopard. It was a good thing that one of us had been smart enough to make a reservation.
Like so many of the better dining establishments in our neck of the woods, the exterior does not necessarily make a great first impression! However, we, like so many others, have been enjoying the food and hospitality here so long that it just doesn’t matter. Willy, the owner for as long as we have been frequenting the place (13+ years), and his wife are the owner-operators and manage the whole establishment with just a couple of extra staff. The good news is that you get personal service from the owners who are both personable (though neither is Turkish). The bad news is that on very busy nights like tonight, wait times and individual attention suffers.
Special Tip: There are two dishes here that I would heartily recommend on your first visit:
1) Dinner for 2 (or more) Special. It is a sampler plate of skewered meats, served on a platter of the most delicious Turkish salad that we have ever encountered.
2) If available, the lamb shank is tender, moist and melts in your mouth.
What we ordered: 2 of our party ordered the Chicken Shish Kebab, 1 the Lamb in Yoghurt sauce and I opted for the combination platter – skewered lamb, chicken and sausage. I ordered a glass of the house red wine and neglected to ask what it was, since I thoroughly enjoyed it.
As I mentioned earlier, it was busy and a little slow but there were sufficient topics of conversation that we barely noticed. The biggest distraction was a shutterbug with a powerful flashgun who didn’t realize how annoying it was to have him competing with Mother Nature outside to see who could make the biggest flash (Mother Nature won, of course). When our food came it was hot and attractively arranged with a small lettuce and tomato garnish.
There are two small complaints that I would make about the majority of meals served here:
–> They are served with both rice AND potato. This seems to be a Greek/Lebanese common occurence. I can really speak for Turkish since this is the only one I have frequented. For me, this represents too much starch!
–> There are typically no vegetables or salad served as a side. A salad ordered separately represents too much food in total and I still have a hard time not finishing whatever I order even if doggie bags are du jour.
Apart from the two reservations above, each of us enjoyed our meals. Even though Willy offers a wider selection of desserts than others that we have reviewed recently, none of us partook, so I shall have to leave that for a future review. I am happy to report that the decaf coffee often cool and stale in many establishments, was better than average.
- Positives: Food was fresh, hot and served promptly once ordered. Owners are always present and pleasant!
- Negatives: Too much starch (rice & potato) and no veggies.
- Summary: Not a Top Notch locale for a posh evening out but a nice venue for a mid-week relaxed supper!
|Food Quality||***||Above Average|
|Overall Rating||***||Worth a Try|