Kebap G brings a taste of Berlin to the UES.

Some weeks ago, I wrote about finding the doner kebap at Memo comparable in content and quality (if not in size) to the fare at some of my favorite German and Austrian kebap stands.  I can say now that the bar has been raised, and it’s been raised in a location that many more will find reasonable to get to than Kings Highway, Brooklyn.  I’m very pleased indeed to report that Kebap G, on 2nd Avenue between 95th and 96th Streets, is the perfect replication of the standard Berlin doner kebap.

Upon consuming Kebap G’s medium doner kebap sandwich ($4.50 or so), which consisted of tasty well-cooked (and relatively low-grease) lamb shaved from the spit, a yellowish yogurt-garlic sauce, a red tomato-based hot sauce, as well as fresh cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes heaped on top, I descended into a combination of food-bliss and nostalgic glow (just ask my girlfriend, who was extremely entertained).  It’s even served on bread that’s been warmed in a panini press – it’s more like Uzbek bread than a pita, but not remarkably close to either one – just like the kebap stand occupying the front room of a SPAR market across from Hackescher Markt.

Regardless of my loopy memories coming into play, it’s a damn good sandwich – the warm meat, cold veggies, and soft bread are similar to banh mi in their contrasting texture/temperature pleasures.  Also, given that the sandwich is inevitably assembled in front of your eyes, Kebap G offers the guaranteed customization that American fast food places don’t (unless we’re talking Roy Rogers and his “Fixins Bars”).  When I was there, one paramedic was trying to convince his skeptical partner of the merits of the various sauces, but you can get them on the side, if you’re unsure.  (By the way, if you’re a cop, fire fighter, paramedic, or hospital employee, you get 10% off.)

Sheep’s cheese, one of the stranger Berlin ingredients, wasn’t available, though I didn’t really miss it – for the record, after my first month abroad, I decided I preferred mine without.   There were, however, shakers full of pepper flakes (not the pizza joint kind, for once), Ayran in a fruit punch fountain, and some rather off-looking grape leaves as well, not that you’d put the latter two on the doner.  I guess falafel and some other standard Mediterranean fare was also available, but I didn’t try any of it.

The pleasant owner and operator of Kebap G cops to his Berlin influences – he, like me, once lived there, and he harbors hopes of taking the Berlin kebap formula to US chain prominence.  Assuming the quality stays high and the prices low, I see Kebap G as a real contender – they should weasel their way on to MacDougal Street and put that awful Yatgan out of business.

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3 Comments

Filed under NYC

3 responses to “Kebap G brings a taste of Berlin to the UES.

  1. The Management

    WTF is “Aryan in a fruit punch fountain?”

  2. You know those clear boxy things that sit on the pizzeria counter, continuously circulating the Country Time lemonade so as to make it look more appetizing to your 12-year-old self?One of those, except full of Ayran, which is a Turkish yogurt drink that I’m thus far not very fond of.

  3. Thanks for the kebap tips. I just spent 8 months in Berlin and when I got back to NYC I realized I had no idea where to find a good kebap. Or even a bad one. Those things should be on every street corner.

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