There's more to Turkish cuisine than skewered meats, which is at least part of the reason, Selcuk Kucuk says, that he changed the name of his East Passyunk Avenue grill shop, S&H Kebab House, to Leziz a couple of years ago.
The kebabs are just as good as before - my favorite being the Iskender, which layers sliced lamb over buttered pita bits with thick house-made yogurt and a deeply steeped tomato sauce.
But sure enough, the star of our recent meal had less in common with kebabs and more to do with pizza: lahmacun.
Built on supple, house-made pita flatbreads, the thinly stretched dough rounds are layered with a delicate ragu of finely minced ground lamb stewed in garlicky tomato sauce, given a Turkish twist with a healthy shake of pepper flakes and mint.
There's never cheese on these Turkish pizzas, which are really all about the layer of flavorful meat and exotic spicing. At three to an order, the thin dough means they're not overfilling. In fact, they're a fine, meaty warm-up for the hot skewers of the main event.
- Craig LaBan
Lahmacun, $13.99 for three, Leziz, 609 E. Passyunk Ave., 267-639-3214; lezizturkishcuisine.com