Sunday, March 28, 2010

Doner G - Anaheim

Next time, I must come earlier. Arriving an hour before closing time just doesn't work at Doner G. This is one of those places that seems to only stock just enough food for the day. When things are done, things are done.

Their namesake dish, Turkish doner kebab, which is similar to the shawarma and the gyro, was history by the time we arrived. The guy behind the counter delivered the sad news to us even before I had a chance to speak. Disappointed, I looked over and saw the bare metal rod on which the hunk of lamb would've spun like a ballerina. Its heating element was cold.

No doner meant that virtually half the menu were eliminated as choices. I also missed ordering their last batch of fries by a hair. The customer who came before me got that.

Had I arrived a minute or two later, the adana kebab would've been claimed too. That would've been a shame, because this Turkish version of the koobideh -- where ground lamb is molded and grilled on a metal sword -- was wondrous. Yes, it's similar to Persian koobideh; but that's as inadequate a comparison as proclaiming that a Cajun hot link is the same as a hot dog.

This is an entirely different creature with an entirely different bent. Bursting from charbroiled-end to charbroiled-end with chili seeds and pods of unidentified spices, it's so juicy it spurts, and so intensely hot my eyes widened after my first chomp.

To blot out the burn, there was toasted pita bread, pickled cabbage, a simple salad of cubed tomatoes, and moist rice pilaf, which ate as richly as the stuff the Malaysians pile under chopped Hainan chicken. It had to have been cooked with either butter or chicken broth or both.

They subbed a lamb shish kebab for the second adana, which turned out nicely charred. But eating it after the adana was like conquering Mt. Baldy after you'd been to Everest.

The lamb chunks needed to be dunked into the minty yogurt and the thousand island-like sauce they provide in thimbles.

Doner G's chicken shish kebab had its heart in the right place, too. The healthy, plump morsels also did well with a slathering of sauce. But next time, I'm coming down for dinner before the doner's done.

Doner G
(714) 956-0123
2139 East Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92806

THIS WEEK ON OC WEEKLY:
Dosa Place - Tustin

17 Comments:

At 9:48 PM, Anonymous The Jetpacker said...

Looks good, but it's similar to Zankou Chicken and we're addicted to that place right now.

 
At 10:15 PM, Anonymous eaterdeltustin said...

Weird. I went to Alberto's a few hours before you had posted your review. And, I just went to Doner G on Thursday for the first time in years (different location). Are you following me, or are you brainwashing me to go to these places?

By the way, I had the Beef Doner for takeout, and the place was relatively empty, but it was around 3pm on a weekday. I love the rice.

 
At 7:29 AM, Blogger Juliet said...

My mouth is watering! I grew up eating a lot of Persian food (my aunt married a man from Iran), as well as Lebanese and other Middle Eastern cuisines. (I do believe that southeast Michigan has the largest Middle Eastern population in the U.S.) This seems similar, bur with a new twist.

By the way, take my advice. ALWAYS go to restaurants during a slightly off time. I hate ending up with a crappy table and hurried service, so this works for me.

 
At 7:59 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Dang that looks yummy

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Jetpacker,

Zankou remains a personal favorite of ours too. That toum is da bomb!

eaterdeltustin,

Must be the water in Tustin. Makes us crave the same foods!

And yes, the rice was a surprise! So riiiich!

Juliet,

Service was spot on here, though it's more counter service anyway. But it may be because they felt bad that they didn't have the stuff I wanted! Guilt. Get's the job done!

Bill,

It tastes even yummier.

 
At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I saw that slab of meat and the name of the restaurant, I thought it was some sort of sick "tribute" to the Donner party.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donner_Party

 
At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went there the other day after catching a show at the dollar theater in irvine, and the afternoons just seem slow. wish they'd make a deal with screamincoupons so it's cheaper for me =D

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger Diamond Dog said...

I wonder if they have the Donner Kebap sandwiches in the same style they serve in Germany (on a roll with pickled cabbage)?

i think this place you visited also has a nightly dinner Buffet?

 
At 6:06 PM, Blogger Exile Kiss said...

Hi elmomonster,

That happened to me, too on my 1st visit there! :( I showed up about 1 hour before they were supposed to close and they ran out of half the menu. Sigh.

 
At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Das Ubergeek said...

How do you not tell me when you're going to the place behind my friggin' house? I'd have given you the pointers, dude.

And it's not just before closing. Fully a third of the menu is unavailable at any given time. It's like eating in the goddamn Soviet Union again (where menus are less a statement of what's available than a list of what they'd serve if only the weather hadn't spoiled the delivery, if only the fryer weren't broken, if the distributor weren't crooked, if only, if only, if only).

That said, when you DO get the food there, it's usually pretty good. I like their ichly kofte, which they usually have since they're cooked from frozen.

And yes, Diamond Dog, they have the cabbage and you can ask to have it put on the sandwich.

 
At 9:28 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Anonymous,

Or how about Doner as in Doner & Blitzen? But cannibalism is ickier than eating Santa's reindeer.

Anonymous,

It's already cheap. No need for coupons or whatever that site is.

DD,

They do the doner in wraps like in Germany (I had one in the Netherlands or Belgium...I think). Here they use lavash bread. And like DU said, you can ask them to put the pickled cabbage in there.

Exile Kiss,

I'm sensing a trend. Gustavo Arellano said the same thing when he reviewed it a few months ago. But he chalked it up to them just being new.

Das,

I should've extrapolated from Gustavo's review. Sounds like the place is a serial shortagist, which is my word for a strategist who uses scarcity as a tool to drum up interest...or perhaps I'm giving them too much credit?

 
At 2:26 PM, Blogger YALCIN said...

Dear Eaters

This is Yalcin ASLAN ,owner of DonerG.

I really appreciated to see DonerG in your reviews on different web site even they are local and small but effective ,that shows how local people really care the community.

I think I need to give you little information about our system.

As you know my restaurant is not franchise business, I do not cook anything frozen like mc Donald’s or burger king ,only ichly kofte which needs to be frozen.

I do not carry anything frozen like gyros which you can find any time because it is frozen ,everything here cook freshly ,If you like to eat Donner Kebab you should come around 7 or before to DonerG

We are still new restaurant and we still need time for more walking ,but I will ensure you that we will be very stable about menu in a short time.

We are also opening 2nd branch in Anaheim hills inside the supermarket of Wholesome Choice by next week

I would like to invite everyone at DonerG before 7 pm so believe me everyone will be higly satisfied, Do not compare our food with with Zankou Chicken because our taste is far away from their taste.

Hope to see you there soon


2139 E.Ball Rd
Anaheim CA 92806
www.donerg.com

714-956-0123 phone
714-956-8545 fax

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Yalcin,

Thanks for the comment! What great news that you are opening a second store. e-mail me at elmomonster75 @ yahoo . com (without the spaces) if you can send me more details (pictures and such).

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Jaia said...

We checked out Doner G after reading your review and were very pleased with what we had...can't remember the names since I didn't order but both the chicken and beef wrap-type things were great and the sauces, like you said - YUM!

Can't wait to try the one in AH!! It's so great that in the last couple years we've moved beyond fast food and Italian out here!

 
At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yalcin,
your location in Anaheim Hills needs work. the meat is dry, lacks the flavor, and the employees you have there act confused and not sanitary. you need to pay attention to what is going on there. i tried it today, and will not eat there again. i am turned off. i am sure others are going to feel the same way also. the other location, i will still visit.
Good luck!

 
At 1:08 AM, Blogger YALCIN said...

Dear Friend

I am not sure when you did go there but the worker is still has bad habit from previous restaurant.

But I ensure that when you come next time,you will be satisfied very much.

I already took care many things ,same as DonerG ,I must say better then DonerG :)

Please visit me there..
Hope to see you there soon .

 
At 1:09 AM, Blogger YALCIN said...

Dear Friend

I am not sure when you did go there but the worker is still has bad habit from previous restaurant.

But I ensure that when you come next time,you will be satisfied very much.

I already took care many things ,same as DonerG ,I must say better then DonerG :)

Please visit me there..
Hope to see you there soon .

 

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