People have been telling me for over a year now that Alaturka is the place to go for a kebab in Stuttgart. Maybe it's because I have trouble justifying going out to dinner for a kebab (I think of it as I'm-too-lazy-to-cook-food or I'm-hungover-food) or maybe it's because we've been so satisfied with our local kebab shop, but whatever the reason, I hadn't made it to Alaturka until last weekend when my husband suggested it.
And so, after a lazy, relaxing Saturday catching up on TV shows and reading, we finally bundled ourselves up against the cold and walked down the hill towards Olgastraße. We hadn't walked far before my husband said we'd arrived and opened up a low door into a rustic, almost cave-like interior. The stone walls were lined with wooden shelves piled high with Turkish trinkets and various bottles of spices and wine. It would have been dark except for the large center island finished with bright blue tiles.
We arrived around 6:40 pm -- early by our standards but apparently late by theirs -- and were met by a winding line into the middle of the "dining area". On top of that, the meat spit was getting smaller and smaller with each customer, and the woman behind the counter was doing a head count to see if there would be enough meat left for everyone in line. It looked like we'd be eating vegetarian kebabs, but they had just enough left by the time we made it to the counter for a mixed veggie and meat kebab. Honestly, I would have been just as happy having a veggie kebab, though I was glad to try the meat. And I have to say, it was probably the best fresh kebab that I've ever eaten.
My mixed veggie and meat kebab was piled high with roasted vegetables, including soft eggplant, sweet carrots, crisp green beans, salty potatoes, and herbed zucchini, then topped with a light yogurt sauce and arugula salad. The meat, which is made fresh daily, seemed more like beef or lamb sliced off the bone than döner meat that's been pressed together onto a spit. It was beefy, tender, and not overly salty or fatty like some other kebabs I've tasted. Perhaps the best part was the fresh-baked bread that was both crispy and toasted on the outside and spongy soft on the inside -- just as it should be.
I chose the normal kebab, which was plenty for me. Matt went for the larger version, which was almost twice as much as mine! They also serve platters with rice and sigara boregi, a kind of cigar-shaped savory pastry of phyllo dough and feta cheese that's fried until golden. I've never had them before and wanted to try them, but they seemed to be extremely popular and thus gone by the time we ordered our food. In fact, the trend seems to be that when they are out of food -- whether it's the cheese pastries or the döner meat -- they are out. This means that just after we were served at 6:45 pm on a Saturday night, they were starting to close up shop, which, as I later discovered, is their normal closing time for Saturday night.
I still like our kebab shop, Nur, for their greasy, salty, hangover-worthy kebabs and bread. Our kebab shop also makes several other delicious foods, like pide. That said, I'll certainly admit that Alaturka makes the best kebab in Stuttgart in terms of freshness and sustainable eating. I did not feel guilty after my meal there (so much so that I had no qualms about eating a piece of truffle cake at Hüftengold on the way home).
Alaturka is located at Olgastraße 109. They open at 11:00 am daily and close early around 7:00-8:00 pm each night, so go early if you want to be sure to try their döner meat kebab. Note that they are closed on Sundays.