Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Doner Kebab At Rudy's Mediterranean

Doner platter at Rudy's
Doner kebab is one of those dishes that you can find all around the world because it satisfies carnivores across cultures.

It's a Turkish cousin to the shwarma or gyro.  A roasted meat cooked on a vertical spit, then carved off in slices that run from a crispy edge to a moist interior.  The Turks have spread them across Europe, and Rudy's Mediterranean has brought them to Columbia.

The 2 Dudes Who Love Food blog were the first to write up Rudy's.  The dudes have eaten in Istanbul, and they said that they felt the place when they ate hummus, an eggplant salad, doner, a minced lamb kabob, and more.

I can't vouch for Rudy's authenticity, but I can vouch for the meat.  Bad gyros taste of the freezer or have monotonous flavor across the sandwich.  Rudy's "Iskender Kebab" dinner tastes sliced for the order.  The edges are crisp, and the meat has a rich flavor without being greasy.  With the pita bread and the garlicy yogurt sauce, it's delicious and definitely the taste of a kitchen trying to do something unusual.

Turkish coffee
Rudy's is a relatively new place that serves a massive menu.  They do a full American or diner selection plus the Turkish offerings.  We enjoyed our other entree, which was roasted eggplant topped with meat and tomato sauce.  They serve a nice basic rice and a fresh salad with every meal.  (I would pass on the stuffed grape leaves, which were limp and tasted like nothing more than rice.)

Reviews on Urbanspoon and Yelp are as wide as the menu.  Some talk up the breakfast, the lentil soup, the rice pudding; others weren't happy at all.  I really recommend the doner.  That's the kind of meat that makes me want to splurge.  They serve a wrap for lunch and a few entrees at dinner.  I hope you can just get a sandwich with pita and the doner meat.

One bonus: Rudy's serves Turkish coffee as part of its dinner entrees.  It's fun.  It's tiny cups of strong coffee.  Definitely a touch -- like the free green tea at Sushi Sono -- that helps to create a special feel.

Rudy's Mediterranean Grill
7185 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046

NEAR:  Rudy's is easy to reach even though you can't see it from the road.  It's just south of Rte 175 on Columbia Gateway Drive.  (That's the signs that I thought meant "Colonel Gateway Drive" for years.)  You curve a bit to get there.  Follow the knife and fork signs and then turn right up into a shopping center.  The same center has the Flavors of India restaurant as well.

Rudy's Mediterranean Grill & Diner on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I will definitely have to check this place out. But I'm mainly posting this comment in amusement because I also thought it was "Colonel Gateway Drive"!!!! For the longest time I wondered who he was and why he had a road named after him. Glad I wasn't the only one!

BJS said...

This is exactly the type of thing I wanted to find after discovering your blog today, HowChow. While studying in Germany, I determined the best food in Germany is what the Turkish community cooks up, so I regularly lunched on doner and beer on school days. Years later I find myself living in Maryland, and thinking I might have the chance to find doner somewhere here, and found Turkshish near my house. It wasn't too bad, but definitely dry, which in fairness might have been because I was stopping in just before closing time. At any rate, I'm really looking forward to giving Rudy's a try!

Morty Abzug said...

I've given Rudy's a try several times now. I would rank their doner/shwarma the best of the three places that currently have it -- Rudy's, then La Mia, then Cazbar/Turkshish/Kabob House. La Mia is almost as tasty; is open later; and is better with phone-in orders. Haven't ordered from Cazbar/Turkshish/Kabob House in a while now.

Deb said...

I am anxious to try Rudy's and any other nearby place where I can get really good authentic shwarma. I'm spoiled from having spent many many years in the middle east.

In my mind, it will always be Colonel Gateway Drive. Whenever I see the sign, That's what I think of whenever I see the signs for it.

Kevin said...

We tried Rudy's last night for dinner. The service was a bit sketchy. Only two servers for the restaurant and our server was very busy. One meal was delivered significantly later than the other four. Two of us were done eating before the final meal arrived. As to the meals, only two of the five were happy. My youngest ordered the salmon and was finished in a couple of minutes because the portion was so small. My oldest son was disappointed with the minced lamb "burgers". He felt like he was eating four sliders without the fixings. My wife thought the Doner was bland. She asked for a pita so she could eat it like a gyro. I enjoyed the Iskender and my other son enjoyed the jambalaya. Not sure we'll go back. Although the menu is large, the dinner menu was quite small with respect to Turkish/Greek food.

Morty Abzug said...

I just watched The Avengers. Skip ahead to the next comment if you don't want to be spoiled.


The Avengers has a couple of references to shwarma, including a funny post-credits scene. I expect that the places that serve shwarma/doner will see a boost in sales. Yay for shwarma!