By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
After a bizarre trip into the bathroom (shoes and bug spray litter the latrine just next to the kitchen entrance), we, to put it politely, hauled ass out of Sultan Café.
I must admit, following that fitful night after my first visit, I was tempted to forego a second one on the grounds of gastronomic discontent and fear of another post-meal headache. But like the "Do one thing..." adage, there is also a saying that goes something along the lines of "Man up!" So I did. And because misery loves company, I coerced a steel-stomached foodie to swim in the Sultan sea with me.
This time we went for a light weekend lunch. My lunch buddy gave the gyro a second chance with a wrap sandwich, and I tried out the chicken shawarma wrap. The gyro enjoyed a successful revival with its dressing of tomatoes, pickles, lettuce and yogurt sauce. It wasn't nearly as dry, and the portions of each element were nicely balanced. And yes, fries do come with it.
201 S. Greenville Ave.
Richardson, TX 75081
Region: Richardson & Vicinity
Lentil soup $4.95
Falafel appetizer $3.49
Chicken Slovakia $7.95
Gyro sandwich $5.95
Chicken shawarma sandwich $13.95
Mix grill combo $13.95
Gyro plate $13.95
The shawarma was a different story. Traditionally, shawarma-style meats are juicy, sliced from a large rotating skewer. In this case, the little bits of chicken were as dry as jerky and difficult to chew. The veggies would have provided a nice wrap if it weren't for the spread, which our server described as a "garlic and goat cheesy mix." It was a tragedy. When I moved my plate I noticed that although my wrap was as dry as a bone, about two tablespoons of oil had leaked from it onto the table.
Once again, our appetizer came after our entrées (and they arrived 30 minutes after we placed our order) but this time they did come with bread. The chicken Slovakia—chicken bits with tomatoes and onion—swam in oil and contained a few chicken bones to boot. The seasoning, however, was on the level this time—a little salty and a little spicy. Bones aside, at least it wasn't another bland dish.
As we escaped, I wanted to tell anyone that would listen that the hookah bar angle was the only way to go. Lose the menu and all its inexplicably flavorless dishes. Stick with what people are already coming for: the impressive variety of tobaccos and beautifully crafted hookahs. Keep the TVs, turn down the lights, add some candles or some sort of ambiance and smoke up. Because smoking is the one thing Sultan Café does well.
201 S. Greenville Ave., Suite 211, Richardson. 972-235-7900. Open 11 a.m.–midnight Monday–Friday, 11 a.m.– 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. $$