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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Turkish, Mediterranean
Casual restaurant

Tue–Sun 11:00am–9:00pm

Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted


West Side
3720 NW Loop 410
San Antonio, TX
(210) 736-2887
Turquoise Turkish Grill
The décor suggests the Turkey of all tastes; the menu is a more effective travel poster

It’s easy to fall into the trap of lumping all Eastern Mediterranean cuisines together under the flatbread-and-eggplant umbrella. Turquoise at least tries hard to make a case for the unique qualities of its Turkish menu. And they start by evoking Alexander the Great. The Iskender is an iteration of doner, the beef-lamb combo cut from a vertical rotisserie and served with cubed pita, yogurt, tomato sauce, and butter. Great it is.

Couples are counseled to order the meze platter; we like almost everything on it, including the tiny dolmas with pine nuts and currants and the bracing, stiff yogurt with walnuts, dill, and garlic. The “Shepherd’s Salad” counts too much on good tomato—and often doesn’t get it, but red lentil soup, hinting of dried mint and resonant with souk-evoking spices, is good year ‘round. Ancient and even more exotic is the iman bayaldi named for a swooning cleric. Adolescent eggplant is featured in a preparation with the usual tomato, green pepper, onion, and olive oil faithful made more ecstatic with great gobs of sliced garlic. Feel free to faint.

We’re less likely to swoon over the stew-like lamb tava, but could be converted by karniyarik, a plate of baked eggplant topped with seasoned ground beef and served with a buttery pilaf studded with pine nuts. Yet what calls to us most is the lush and silky chilled rice pudding called sutlak; it’s rice that has ascended to paradise, and if this is what it’s like, sign us up.

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