Mekan Gyro & Grill in Medford: First bites

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Beyti kebab platter (spicy ground lamb) at Mekan

Beyti kebab platter (spicy ground lamb) at Mekan Mediterranean Kitchen in Medford. (November 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday Joan Reminick

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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

Mekan Gyro & Grill in Medford does double duty as both a Turkish grocery and a counter-serve cafe. Fancy it’s not. But if you get past the lack of amenities (dinnerware is Styrofoam and plastic), you can eat amazingly well — and for very little money.

On a recent evening, a meal began with a plate of mixed appetizers ($9.95): Standouts included subtly garlicky hummus, tahini-enriched baba ghanoush and fiery acili ezme (spiced chopped vegetables). Only the couscous (spelled kuskus on the menu) was humdrum.

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Chef Sebastian Kurun’s chicken chops ($9.95) — grilled marinated boneless dark meat — proved juicy and smoky. A shame the coban salatasi (tomato, cucumber pepper salad) served alongside was icy-cold. And that the bulgur pilaf was mushy. The showstopper was beyti kebab ($9.95), skewered and spiced ground lamb, hot off the grill and full of fire.

Mekan Gyro & Grill is at 3135 Rte. 112, Medford, 631-320-1101,

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