Öz Kilis: Kebab That Deserves to be Panned
In Turkish popular lore, the denizens of Kilis, a town in southeastern Turkey right near the Syrian border, are known for two things: kebab making and smuggling. We haven’t been to Kilis, so we can’t vouch for the smuggling bit. But we did recently have lunch at Öz Kilis, a wonderful little spot on a quiet back street in the Fatih neighborhood run by two Kilis natives, and can report that the kebab making reputation is well deserved.
Not just any kebab, mind you. Clearly an unorthodox and clever lot, the people of Kilis have a distinctly different approach to cooking meat. While a wide swath of humanity stretching from the Balkans to the Hindu Kush make their kebabs by putting meat on a skewer and cooking it over a fire, the people of Kilis are famous for their pan kebab, a thin disc of ground meat that is cooked in a shallow metal dish that’s put in the oven. It’s a kind of Turkish meatloaf – only juicier, spicier and, well, better than any other meatloaf we’ve ever had.
Why make kebab in a baking pan, you may ask? (Click here to read the rest of this archived review)