Formerly Döner USA, newly rebranded Istanbul Cafe
comes courtesy Faruk Sahin, who also owns Manitou Springs’ MAVi Kebab. Turkish-born Sahin wrestled in the Army’s U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program and on four USA Wrestling World Teams. He remains health-focused, claiming no additives or preservatives on his menus, and boasting house-prepared (halal) meats and sauces. Döner kebab (shawarma, gyro and pastor’s progenitor) remains the star item, shaved vertical rotisserie chicken or beef/lamb blended. I get the latter as a lunch special sandwich ($8.99 with drink and side) on thin, crispy-crumbed housemade bread, jammed with shavings of the meat, lightly seasoned with Mediterranean spices. Yogurt sauce adds a little moisture, but a side of spicy, oregano-dominant red pepper flake-tomato sauce really perks up bites. Or, add a smear of excellent house hummus for 75 cents more; side basmati rice also soaks up any saucing happily.