Bring me a good Greek Pikilila Platter and I'm in Heaven. Maybe we can help you find some new favorites too!

MADINA KABAB HOUSE, 599 Hicksville Rd., Bethpage NY

A sampling of Bolani Stuffed Bread, Kababs & Rice, and Sombosa, with white and green sauces.

     I am thrilled to have discovered Madina Kabab House in Bethpage while searching on line for someplace different that delivers.  I found fantastic Afghan cusine, fresh food, and fast friendly service all in one place. It's not often I get all this delivered to my door, but Madina pulls it off!  

     We wanted to try a bit of everything, so we went with the "7 Skewer Combo" of Chicken Tikka, Lamb Tikka, Chicken Kofta & Beef Kofta, served with tons of Seasoned Rice w/ Carrots & Raisins, Tandoori Naan & Salad. All of the meat was tender and perfectly seasoned to your choice of mild or spicy, and accompanied by a mild white sauce & spicy green sauce. This alone was more than enough for 4 people.  However, being in the mood for new things, we also sampled the Chicken Shawarma (which was my husbands favorite), the Squash and Potato Bolani (stuffed breads, absolutely irresistable) and the Chicken Sombosa (my favorite - a pastry filled with diced chicken, veggies and spices).  With these few extras, we ended up with enough food for three(3) meals, not bad for the $50 tab.

     A quick note about the service here, which is extraordinary.  I ordered  on line and the owner was kind enough to call me back to confirm and request one substitution. I paid in advance via credit card and asked to pay the driver's tip in cash, but when the food arrived I only had a $20 bill.  The driver refused it but I insisted.  That alone was kind enough. Yet, 10 minutes later I recieved another call from the restaurant advising me it was too much of a tip and I should remind them if and when I call again in order to receive a credit.  So readers, in retrospect, it was definitely not too much of a tip, I definitely will call again, and I absolutely will not ask for a credit.  Thank you Madina Kabab House, you made my day with your food, your service and your kindness.

SAAZ INDIAN CUISINE, 1746 County Rd 39, Southampton NY

Tandoori Aatish, a mixed grill of tandoori chicken, lamb boti kebabs, tandoori shrimp, salmon tikka & more!

     I’ve been anxiously waiting for Saaz to open for a few weeks now, and now I can report it was worth the wait.  For those of us looking for a diversity of good ethnic food here on the East End, especially in our beloved Southampton, its slim pickin’s. There's Italian, and…more Italian and, well... more Italian. Yes, there are wonderful New American, Fusion and Seafood Restaurants that we're known for, and good Chinese (thanks to Dragon Garden).  However, until recently, if you want to venture out of Italy, your choices for dinner were few.
      Enter Saaz, open only a few weeks now, but from what I saw while I was there, already gratefully accepted by both locals and passers by alike.  I couldn’t bear the wait any longer, so on my way here I stopped by to check it out - about 2 in the afternoon, enticed by the "Lunch Buffet for $15.00 per person" sign.  Although I had eaten lunch, I wanted to get some dinner for mom and I, so I grabbed a menu and asked if they delivered.  YES, they do!!!  That is enough to sing their praises out here, however I was further enticed by the lovely decor, the luscious aromas and their delightful hostess.  After chatting a moment I decided to order (far too much) right there to bring home. The menu is extensive & comprehensive and I could only sample so much, but I did my best and, an early dinner it was.
     Ok, ready?  Samosas: 1 ground lamb & peas, 1 Chaat (chickpeas, veggies & chutney).  The crust was flavorful, flaky and crispy, the inside tender and moist.  Both excellent.  Curried Mussels: Mmmmm, fresh, plump and juicy, liberally spiced in a green coconut curry. Perfect.  Chicken Tikka Masala: My favorite, and this did not disappoint. Boneless, tender white meat chicken in a delicate creamy tomato gravy.  This went perfectly with their homemade Naan & Onion Naan (Kulcha) - which was one of the best I’ve ever had, so much so that I had it for breakfast the next day!  Lamb Rogan Josh:  silky cubes of lamb in an Kashmiri style, aggressively spiced, rich brown sauce, which we chose to eat with their Peas Pilaf Basmati Rice.  Then, the Pièce de résistance, the Indian specialty, Tandoori Aatish.  We chose a mixed grill of tandoori chicken, light & dark meat, lamb boti kebabs, tandoori shrimp, salmon tikka…and probably some more things I cannot recall because there was enough to feed 4!  Every bite was a delight.  Needless to say, we have dinner for another 2 nights.
     Its hard to imagine what else I can say, other than I can’t wait to go back next week so I can start sampling the rest of the menu.  Welcome to Southampton, Saaz.  DebsFood is glad to have you join our community!
  • Don't miss Saaz!

  • From the Samosas...

  • Lamb or Chickpea Chutney

  • to the Curried Mussels, the apps are fantastic.

  • The Naan is "over-the-top", as is the Tikka Masala & Lamb Rogan Josh.

  • The special Mixed Tandoori Platter...indescribably delicious

EPHESUS, Park Avenue & Sunrise Hwy, Massapequa NY

Mausakka, a vegetarian delight. Absolutely wonderful. I can still taste it now!

     Turkish restaurants are not easy to locate here on Long Island, so when we heard about Ephesus, re-opened under new ownership right here in the heart of Massapequa, it was impossible to pass by, especially coming highly recommended by a good source.  Now, I confess, I had driven by this “Mediterranean” restaurant a number of times thinking, “looks like a dump.”  This one proves the adage, don’t judge a book by its cover.  Its lovely inside, decorated with a bit of Mediterranean flair, but comfortable and cozy.  You would never know this from the outside.  We were warmly greeted and offered our choice of seating areas, front or back.  Nice. (I should note that on their website you can find their menu and order take-out also:  www.ephesusmedcuisine.com.) 

     Their menu begins with a list of soups and salads, and the wait staff will read you the specials of the day.  All the salads come in Small or Large, so you can go and eat light if you so choose.   The cold appetizers are your typical fare, my favorite being of course the combination plate of Hummus, Beet Salad, Spicy vegetable salad & Eggplant salad.  That’s the small one.  The large platter includes everything on the small plate plus Babagannus, Sauced eggplant Grape leaves and Lebni. Our excuse for ordering the small one was the 2 hot appetizers we ordered: a Turkish Cigar (Flaky pastry, filled with feta cheese & parsley) and Falafel (Blended Chickpeas, garlic, onion, celery, dill, parsley, lightly pan fried).  Every single thing was so full of flavor, and so different from everything else on the table. 
     We were full just with that but we were treated to a new experience, a lovely little Turkish drink called Raki (rah-kuh).  Similar to Ouzo, but this was a real surprise. Served as is traditional in a short cylindrical glass approximately 5 inches high, it is clear and a little syrupy, but you mix it with water and then add ice and you suddenly have a fizzy milky mixture that tastes like sparkling wine with a licorice flavor (although it is distilled from raisins first, then re-distilled with aniseed).  It was wonderful!
    For my main course I ordered my favorite dish, Mousakka (In Greece, typically layers of eggplant and ground meat, topped with béchamel) but here, it was Mausakka: Baked Sliced eggplant, potatoes, squash, carrot, onion with Romano sauce and mozzarella cheese – totally vegetarian and totally loaded with flavors and tastes from the different spices I struggled to finish it.  Steve had the Hunkar Begendi (a/k/a Sultan’s Delight) which was a classic Ottoman dish made with Chunks of Lamb and chicken over smoked Eggplant pure topped with tomato sauce.  This was delicious.  The pureed eggplant was heavenly. 
     So, no dessert because we could barely move, but they do have a homemade rice pudding we would love to try next time.  Thank you to all the staff at Ephesus, we had a lovely evening filling with thoroughly exciting and delectable food delights
  • Sampler Warm Pita and Spreads

  • Turkish Cigars filled with melted cheese

  • Sultan's Delight, grilled lamb and chicken in pureed eggplant & cheese

Zorba the Greek, Hicksville, NY

     Zorba the Greek has been around for as long as I can remember, serving up the most delicious Gyros and Souvlaki, along with all sorts of wonderful Greek appetizers like Spanokopita, Tiropita (cheese pie) Dolmas, and a wonderful cold platter that includes: stuffed grape leaves, tarama (greek caviar), sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, peppers, feta cheese and pita.  You can also create your own appetizer platter out of your favoriets. They make a delicious salad, to which you can add shrimp, chicken, lamb or falafal for a small note. 

     Their Gyros, melts, souvlaki and other specialties for lunch or dinner are too numerous to mention, and they are just as delicious whether you eat in or out.  I can tell you that they make a lucscious Moussaka, and the greek pizza is also an excellent choice. 

     Its not fancy, but nice enough for a quick bite out, or to pick up some take out.  We almost always get our neighborhood take out here and most definitely would go back again. 

The Wild Fig, Greek/Mediterranean Pideria

The Wild Fig Meat Sampler Platter.

     I'm going to tell you now, right off the bat, that the lunch specials here are delicious, and the Moussaka is excellent, and just the right size for Lunch.  In addition to the regular appetizers and platters, you can also pick your own salads.  But if you try their Greek Pides (Pizzas), you may never want anything else.  Its almost unlimited what they can do with a flatbread.  Also, do not pass up the Hot Appetizer Sampler.  You won't be sorry, even if you take the rest of your meal home. 

     The Wild Fig is a perfect lunch spot, warm and inviting, typical greek tile adorning the walls and floors, and a bit on the formal side.  But you can get in and out at lunch.  Although, it can be on the pricey side.

     The entrees, seafood entrees and grill entrees all have their special charm, but if you cannot decide, you can make your own combination - A chicken, shrimp and sirloin combo maybe?  And, do not pass up the Pastitcio.  Now that I've learned how time consuming this is to make, I certainly appreciate the one they have here, and the value you get for your money when you order it. 

The Greek Corner, Voice Road, Carle Place

     As much as I love The Wild Fig for its quiet elegance, I love Greek Corner for its homey, comfortable, c'mon in and sit where ever you want atmosphere.  The walls are all painted with murals of Greece, but in a relaxed sort of way.  The staff is busy, but always there to help.  And talk about lunch specials: where else are you going to get soup or salad, entree and a drink for anywhere from $5.00 to $9.00 in that neighborhood?!!?  And that tomato soup is damned good!

     Their appetizers and combination (pikilila) platters are the best anywhere, hot, cold or a combination.  Their gyro and chicken souvlaki are excellent.  They boast lamb and falafel platters also, in addition to lamb, kabobs and shrimp -- and something called Bifteki (which I have never had but is Ground Beef Mixed with Egg, Onion, Herbs, & Served w/ Eggplant Salad & Tzatziki Sauce!

     Entrees of course include Moussaka, Pastitsio, lamb and pork, and something called Eggplant Shoes:  Eggplant Stuffed w/ Ground Beef, Topped w/ Bechamel Sauce, Baked in the Oven.  I haven't had it but I'm going back to try it. 

     Stop in at the Greek Corner, either at Carle Place, or their other location in Franklin Square.  You will not be disappointed.