The Iskender kebab ($10.49) at Istanbul Grill (5613 Morningside, 713-526-2800) is an excellent rendition of what has been dubbed the national dish of Turkey. Some claim the Iskender kebab was named for Alexander the Great, whom the Persians called Iskender, because it was his favorite food, while others maintain that it was named after the Iskender family, who lived in Bursa in the late 19th century. In any case, the dish is made from thin slices of doner ("rotating meat") kebab, a mixture of beef, lamb and chicken, served on a bed of tangy yogurt. A seasoned tomato sauce covers the meat, making an interesting color contrast to the stark white yogurt. Using pieces of pida (very similar to pita) bread to scoop it all up, you eat this dish by combining all the flavors at once.
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