Çi?köftem: Vegetarian Turkish Wraps in the East Village


Çiğköftem (438 E. 9th St, 212-777-8767)
Çiğköftem, the first American branch of a popular Turkish fast-food chain, opened a little over a week ago in the East Village. It serves just one dish — a vegetarian mixture called çiğköftem, which consists of cracked bulgur wheat, red pepper paste, chili pepper, and 18 spices. You can order the dish by itself, or folded into a wrap, pita, or bun along with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, parsley, fresh mint, pickles, and a squirt of pomegranate sauce. It comes in a mild and a spicy version. Go for the spicy one: It’s not too hot and has a pleasing, slightly smoky flavor. Either way, though, the dish is a refreshing alternative to falafel for a late-night snack or a quick lunch.