We were in the mood for something new and different this past Saturday, so we decided to try the misspelled-but-correctly-spelled Gengiz Khan, a little Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant located south of Gandy (SOG) on MacDill. We had never been to Gengiz Khan before, but were familiar with it since it is located in the strip center (Shoppes of Interbay) across from Interbay Meat Market.
Gengiz Khan was opened by two Turkish business partners in the fall of 2005. When we visited last Saturday for lunch, we had the place largely to ourselves, save for two other tables (including one large family). The restaurant's space is nicely decorated and service was friendly. Things did run a bit slow as there was only our one server in the front and we suspect just one cook in the back.
For a starter, we ordered the country style eggplant, which came with slices of fried eggplant topped with a garlic yogurt sauce. I guess you could say I liked the eggplant appetizer as I used the pita-like bread that was provided for the table to lap up what was left of the sauce. For our main dish, I decided on the doner kebab (thinly sliced lamb) with rice and grilled vegetables, while Traci chose the chicken adana (chopped chicken with red bell peppers and seasoning) with rice and potatoes.
While we had to wait a little bit longer than we would have liked for our food, we both enjoyed our meals. If you go during lunch time, you'll save a few bucks as Gengiz Khan offers lunch specials.
The only other Mediterranean restaurant we've tried in the area is the much more well-known Byblos Cafe at the corner of Bay to Bay and MacDill. Maybe we caught Byblos at a bad time (it was early one evening so there weren't any belly dancers and we were seated in a corner), but the food was very average. Byblos is definitely a trendier-feeling place with a bar and higher-priced menu to match, whereas Gengiz Khan is more moderately priced and more of a neighborhood place.
So what's your favorite local Turkish or Mediterranean restaurant and why?
Bottom-line: While the service and kitchen could be faster, for quality Mediterranean cuisine at reasonable prices, Gengiz Khan, a relatively new neighborhood restaurant SOG, is worth a try.