Remember the discussion and Alibi reviews roughly a year ago about the great Turkish kebabs and other fare being dished up at the 66 Central Market convenience store downtown? Well, I'm just guessing, but it looks like the Turks have struck out on their own...a sign for the Anatolia Doner Kebab House recently appeared on one of the small storefronts on the east side of 6th just north of Central. Has anyone been who can confirm they're the same folks?
Meanwhile, their former digs at the 66 Market are now home to a place calling itself something along the lines of "Byblos Mediterranean and Mexican." The real Byblos is in Lebanon...is this an attempt to put a more Middle Eastern spin on the Cesar's Greek n' Mexican idea? Is downtown big enough for two competing kebab places within 2 blocks, especially when one of them is in a notorious restaurant graveyard? Stay tuned...!
Yes, same folks are now at Anatolia that used to be in the back of Central Market. I know this because I asked them.
I've heard the quality at the "new" place called Byblos is not as good, but have not yet investigated other than the see the menu which is WAY longer and more confusing.
A long menu can be a good sign, especially (I would think) for Middle Eastern places which frequently seem to rely on a small set of ubiquitous dishes. A little diversity could be good.
I hope things go well for Anatolia. That space has to be one of Albuquerque's top restaurant-killers, and while Turkish <> Lebanese/Palestinian/Jordanian/Greek those are the cuisines people here know so they will judge them by that yardstick to some extent. I need to get down there and give them more business...some of the specialties they talk up in their little paid Alibi feature this week sound terrific.
We went to Anatolia today for lunch, and it was delightful. The staff was very friendly, and the food was delicious. I had the vegetarian plate--hummus, baba ganoush, dolma, rice, salad, pita and borek--and the husband had the daily special, a yummy chicken/pepper dish over rice. They even brought us each a piece of tasty baklava once we'd eaten. Everything was outstanding. We will definitely go back!
The only downside? The restaurant was pretty empty. Sigh.
It seems like that is the eternal downside of that location, unfortunately. But if people get the word out, maybe they can tough it out and build a following. If I worked downtown I would certainly give them business on a regular basis...