Crisp Doner Cafe
BY MIKE PUCKETT
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Crisp Doner Café is located on Hwy 6 in Southwest Houston – just a few blocks north of Westheimer. This Mediterranean Grill is one of the best in Houston. If you’re out for a meal with the kids, then you will love it. They have a play area to keep the kids busy so you can have some free time to eat wonderful Mediterranean Cuisine and enjoy a GOOD conversation!
Crisp Doner Café has been on my radar ever since I was told how Ahhmazing the food truck was. This was a highly-anticipated restaurant opening in the area and now ALL of Houston is finding out why.
Crisp Doner Café specializes in authentic and halal kebaps (beef, lamb and chicken), fresh vegetables and artisan breads. All meat products are Halal and their sauces are made in-house. Now that is music to my ears!
If you are looking for Lavazza brand gourmet coffee options along with in-house made, oven-baked rice pudding, crisp café Dolce chocolate and Walnut Baklava… then look no further! I tried all the above and it was all great!
The first thing you notice as you walk through the doors is the fabulous aroma from the beef and lamb as it is being cut off the enormous heated spit. It doesn’t get any better, just look at the photography. And the beautiful décor will truly enhance your meal. At Crisp Doner, everyone greets you with a big smile and the bright colors all around add the perfect touch.
As far as I am concerned, you must start off with the Hummus Plate. The freshly-made hummus is garnished with a sprinkle of paprika and shredded red cabbage. It is served with warm pita bread slices and a side of Mushroom-Carrot Salad. The Mushroom-Carrot Salad was SOMETHING SPECIAL – so fresh and delightful! I absolutely love Hummus and the Hummus here at Crisp Doner did not disappoint!
I must have a salad at every meal, and the Chicken Doner Salad was on my list. It’s really an entrée, but I had to try it. So we all kind of shared it just to taste it and not fill up too much before the rest of the entrees we had ordered arrived.
The Chicken Doner Salad is built with a mix of greens and fresh veggies including tomatoes, onions, arugula, lettuce, mushrooms and red cabbage. This mix is topped with a healthy olive oil, lemon and balsamic dressing and a thinly-sliced Crispy Chicken Doner Kebap. It’s served with warm pita bread slices and their signature On Fire and Yogurt and Garlic Sauces on the side. This is a very hearty, yet light salad… and the sliced crispy chicken was perfect!
Next up was a highly recommended entrée, the Iskender Kabap. This delicious dish is made up of a mix of fresh, thinly-sliced beef and lamb doner kebap meat served over grilled warm pita bread slices, topped with a special Iskender sauce and generously slathered with melted butter and plain yogurt. I can’t get over how fresh and enjoyable the meat is here and the warm pita had me at first bite. But watch out! The portions here at Crisp Doner Café are huge! You’ll have to take some home for sure – but is that bad thing?
One of my VERY favorites was the Crisp Jalapeno’ed – the perfect sandwich to stop in and grab. I promise… you can thank me later. This Mediterranean sandwich is built with a thinly-sliced beef and lamb Doner Kebap with their specialty On Fire Sauce, melted cheese and jalapeño slices topped with a tomato slice, green leaf lettuce, onion slices and pickles… all served in an artisan bun. I have never had a sandwich like it. A little spicy, but not over the top… The melted cheese was a little different than what I am used to, but this will definitely be one of my go-tos here. Just take a look at the photography – there is no way you can tell me your mouth isn’t watering!
When I noticed the Classic Doner Plate coming way, a smile instantly came to my face. The beef and lamb were fresh and thinly sliced, of course. The Doner Kebap is served on a wood plate over crispy Lavash bread along with a healthy salad touched up with mushrooms, rice and warm pita bread. It comes with Fire and Yogurt and Garlic Sauces on the side. I can’t say it enough, just another fresh dish served with wonderful warm pita. Everything here is built with the same delicious items, but prepared the way you like!
You already know how I feel about the Mushroom Salad, so, of course, I loved it. I will probably stop by and get a quart whenever I am in the neighborhood.
If you have been following me for any length of time, you know I am a dessert kinda guy. Well, no different here at Crisp Doner Café. I enjoyed the Walnut Baklava and the Oven-Baked Rice Pudding. I highly recommend either or both! Ha!
The Walnut Baklava is a traditional Turkish Baklava filled and topped with walnuts and served warm. I enjoyed it with a wonderful Turkish coffee which just made my heart miss a beat. I would stop by Crisp Doner Café just to enjoy a nice conversation with a loved one or friend over this delectable dessert.
The Oven Rice Pudding was a tasty blend of rice, milk and heavy cream baked in an oven for a crispy topping and served with garnished walnuts. Not too sweet – but the walnuts gave it a nice crunch. If Rice Pudding is your thing, then look no further.
My long-awaited experience at Crisp Doner Café was just what I needed. I have to admit, I don’t get to enjoy Mediterranean cuisine as much as I would like, but I can guarantee that I love it. Crisp Doner Café is a spot I will be visiting again and again. MmmmHmm… SO GOOD!
Good Eats Houston Recommends…
Fresh hummus garnished with sprinkle of paprika and shredded red cabbage served with warm pita bread slices and mushroom & carrot salad on the side
Soup made with lentils and fresh herbs served with warm pita bread slices and a slice of lemon on the side
Chicken Doner Salad
A mix of green fresh veggies including tomatoes, onions, arugula, lettuce, mushrooms and red cabbage mix topped with healthy olive oil & lemon & balsamic dressing and thinly sliced crispy chicken doner kebap. Served with warm pita bread slices and on fire, yogurt & garlic sauce on the side.
Thinly sliced mix of fresh beef and lamb doner kebap meat, served over grilled warm pita bread slices, topped with our special Iskender sauce and generously slathered with melted butter and plain yogurt. Served with grilled tomato sliced and jalapeno pepper on the side over a sizzling iron cast plate
Classic Doner Plate
Beef & lamb fresh and thinly sliced Doner Kebap served over crispy lavash bread on a wood plate with the healthy salad touch up with mushrooms, rice, warm pita breads served with On Fire and Yogurt & Garlic sauces on the side
Thinly sliced beef & lamb mix blend Doner Kebap with specialty On Fire Sauce, melting cheese along with jalapeno slices topped with tomato slice, green leaf lettuce, onion slices and pickles served in an artisan bun
In-house made cream puffs filled with chocolate cream touched with shredded chocolate pieces
Traditional Turkish baklava filled and topped with walnuts. Served warm.
Oven Rice Pudding
Mix of rice made with milk and heavy cream milk. Baked in an oven for a crispy topping and served with garnished walnuts.
PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE PUCKETT
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