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Pasha Kebob and Grill

656 Route 109 North Lindenhurst, NY 631-225-7499

Mehmet and Ayse Ocal own Pasha Kebob and

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

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Type: Shopping, Ethnic, Food Description:

It's a singularly unprepossessing location, sandwiched between a laundromat and a Chinese takeout in a parking-challenged shopping center at the unlovely intersection of Route 109 and Straight Path in North Lindenhurst. Nor does the modest shop look like much: Tables in front, groceries in back, a grill and refrigerated display cases running along one side.

But Pasha Kebob and Grill serves some of the best Turkish food on Long Island.

It's a labor of love for owners Mehmet and Ayse Ocal, who bought the place in 2005. Emphasis on the labor. Consider Pasha's doner kebab: From a distance, it resembles the gyro, that spinning column of mystery meat that is usually featured at Greek-American eateries.

Pasha's starts with an enormous hunk of top round beef that Mehmet carefully slices into rounds of ascending circumference. The slices are marinated in herbs and spices for a few days, then stacked, interspersed with slices of lamb breast, onto a vertical spit. As meat spins, its surface browns and, when ordered, it is expertly sliced off for platters ($11.99) and sandwiches ($6.49).

"Doner," by the way, means "spinning" in Turkish; "kebab" means "meat." "Shish kebab" means "skewered meat," and the shish at Pasha is as carefully crafted as the doner: chunks of flavorful lamb, patties of lamb and beef (kofte), ground lamb or chicken enlivened by the smoky red pepper flakes of Adana.

Fear not, vegetarians. Pasha makes its own fluffy, yeasty bread (pide), rice and bulgur pilafs, a whole slew of lively salads ($8 a pound) and a bang-up lentil soup ($3.99).

-- ERICA MARCUS

Photo: Mehmet and Ayse Ocal own Pasha Kebob and Grill in North Lindenhurst.

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