Turkiss Finally Opens on MacDougal, But Can It Replace Yatagan?


Turkiss rocks two twirling doner cylinders, not one.

Yatagan, near the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal, was for over a decade the city’s foremost purveryors of doner kebab, the Turkish mystery meat cooked in a vertical rotisserie, and sliced flamboyantly with a giant sword into a pita or platter. It’s the cousin of Greek gyro and Middle Eastern shawarma.

Turkiss’s doner kebab sandwich

Right in the window of Yatagan, a giant composed cylinder of lamb attracted late-night revelers not only with smell and the sight of roasting meat, but with its sheer size. At $5.50, the price was right, and the pita sandwich was mainly meat.

Newcomer Turkiss replaced Yatagan with another Turkish establishment, which handily keeps the ethnic balance of MacDougal Street alive. The new place has an even more limited menu, featuring felafel, doner kebabs, Anatolian meatballs, and various dips and salads. It boasts two doner kebabs — chicken as well as lamb. You can get either in a pita (or both, as Fork in the Road prefers) for $6.50.

Turkiss’s pita is as fully stuffed as Yatagan’s, but, to this tongue at least, the lamb was less flavorful, and, of the red and white sauces offered (you should ask for both), the red was less spicy than Yatagan’s — in fact, it seemed like pure tomato sauce.

Still, a great late-night nosh, at a bargain price. And a cleaned-up premises. (Open till 1 a.m. weekdays, 4 a.m. weekends)

The slit-open sandwich reveals the contents is about 95 percent meat and poultry. We would have actually preferred a little more roughage.

104 MacDougal Street