Ali Nazik at Istanbul Grill & Deli

Categories: On the Menu

Look! A parking place! Of course, it wasn't there when I visited.
I've passed by Istanbul Grill & Deli often during dinner hour but never stopped as the parking situation always made me a bit nervous.

However, after hearing a Turkish colleague of mine praise the place, I stopped the car, put on my flashers, and dashed in for some takeout. Some online reviewers have criticized Istanbul Grill for its poor ambience, but I thought the dining room, which was filled to the brim even on a windy weeknight, looked cozy. The food was still hot even though I was a few minutes late and the server rang up my credit card lickety-split.

I had ordered the Ali Nazik ($12) because it featured eggplant and lamb, both of which I very much enjoy but never cook for myself. A garlic yogurt sauce enveloped the pureed eggplant, stir-fried ground lamb, and ripe tomatoes to form a wonderful stew of sorts. Although garlic was by far the dominant flavor, I also picked up the taste of green peppers, which gave it a nice little kick.

When it's relatively chilly and you haven't eaten much all day, it's not hard to devour a simple comforting dish like Ali Nazik, which came with fluffy seasoned pita bread convenient for shoving huge scoops into my mouth. My only complaint regarding this delightful accompaniment was that I could have used about three more pieces in light of the generous portion.

An entrée that tastes great even as takeout ranks pretty highly in my book, and I look forward to ordering the Ali Nazik in-house with an entire basket of bread.

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Location Info

Istanbul Grill & Deli

5613 Morningside, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

As a weekly regular I must tell you to dine in, not out. As others mention, they will bring all the bread you want. For dessert, have a Turkish tea and some rice pudding, then waddle out to the car completely stuffed and happy.

We order the same thing every time, and now about 4 of the staff know our order by memory. I find the ambiance quite welcoming - it is all about the people, not the place.


Don't let the parking steer you away. Double park like everyone else! When you need to get out, just ask who has the so and so car and they'll be happy to move! It's never been an issue when I've seen it happen.

Also, have a Turkish dark beer while you're there too! Good stuff.


Wish there would have been a picture of the food. That awning doesn't look very tasty.


I love that place! Just stay away from the salty yogurt drink!

Bruce R
Bruce R

If you eat at the restaurant they'll give you as much bread as you want. Try the lamb kebabs.


Sorry SirRon. Took some photos but they didn't turn out.

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