Sabrina Samemy, who moved to Houston from Turkey 20 years ago, just opened Sultan's Mediterranean Grill (12280 Westheimer, 281-493-0034). "My father is Turkish and my mother is from Afghanistan," she says. "My family used to have a restaurant in Istanbul, and we wanted to continue doing something we knew well, so we opened one in Houston." As for her food and her customers, she says, "The dishes are mainly Turkish, like adana kebab and lahmacun pide, which is like pizza; lamb shanks and traditional Middle Eastern food like hummus and tabbouleh; then some Afghani dishes like Khabuli rice. Most of the people who come here are from Turkey or the Middle East, but about one out of three is American."
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Samemy can often be found hard at work preparing the dishes at Sultan's. It's a simple setup — you order at the counter. What the place lacks in decor is made up by the food, which is very tasty. Dish enjoyed the Sultan's Plate, a mixture of different kinds of chicken and beef kebabs served with two sides and a veggie plate, which included hummus, spinach, beans and rice. — Paul Galvani