Turquaz is located a tiny bit north of Skyview, right in the middle of a small strip mall at 140th avenue and 127th street.
The restaurant is a decent size, with two rows of booths on the left and some additional seating on the right. The color scheme is on the darker side, but with warm accents such as the chandeliers hanging above and the booth coverings done in red. The atmosphere is pretty casual since it operates fast-food style. Ordering is done at the counter, and then you're free to pick any available table. When your food is ready, they'll call out the number on your receipt. A lot of people eat in, but getting take-out is also a popular option.
What they're most known for is their kebab platters, which come in a variety of different proteins and preparations. Also on the menu is shawarma, whole BBQ chickens, pita wraps, and a few side side dishes. Most of the food is cooked over a charcoal wood BBQ, so the room is filled with delicious smells. If you sit in long enough, your clothes might even pick it up (so don't bother wearing anything fancy).
On our first visit, we went on a Sunday and the place was pretty busy with a steady line. I decided to try the mix shawarma ($15.45) and got it to-go, which took about 10-15 minutes to prepare. The platter came with chicken and beef shawarma, rice, salad, hummus, pita, fries, and toum (garlic sauce).
As you can probably tell, this was a lot of food. One regular platter could probably feed two people (or more!) comfortably, or you'll just have leftovers for days.
I found the shawarma on its own slightly dry, but it was easily rectified when mixed up with the salad. The salad was a mix of lettuce, red cabbage, tomatoes, and cucumber. The dressing was a bit tangy with an earthy undertone. Beside it, the hummus was smooth and creamy, with a subtle zip of lemon. The fries were pretty generic, but a-ma-zing when dipped with the toum, a super creamy and garlicky sauce. I'm not ashamed to say that I could probably eat jars of that stuff. So good!
My sister got the chicken shawarma pita ($7.95) and paid $3.00 more to make it a combo with pop and fries. Sadly, they forgot our fries when packing up our order (╥_╥). Oh well.
The pita was stuffed full with chicken shawarma, red onions, tomatoes, and bits of lettuce. I think there was a bit of toum spread in there as well. She enjoyed it, and liked how remarkably un-greasy it was.
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I wanted to do a second visit to try the kebabs that they're so famous for. A couple of weeks later, I dropped by on Monday after running a quick errand. Monday was not nearly as busy, and there was only a couple of people behind the counter. The older man (perhaps the owner?) who took my order was super friendly and they also walked my food over to me when it was finished.
To get the most out of my visit, I ordered the trio kebab platter which comes with chicken, kafta, and beef ($18.95) or lamb ($19.95). I chose the lamb. At first, it might seem a little pricey, but keep in mind how many mouths one platter could feed!
All three of the kebabs had a nice char, and there was definitely a smokey flavour that was imparted from the grill. The chicken and lamb were a touch on the dry side, but still tender and pretty delicious. I especially liked the kafta kebab, which was a long ground beef patty mixed with different herbs, spices, and onions. The rest of the platter was the same as before but I must reiterate how good that toum is.
Quick note! Their pitas are supplied by Sunbake Pita Bakery, which is another popular northside eatery.
I feel like Turquaz is an excellent starting point for those uninitiated (and even those well-versed) with Lebanese cuisine. I thought the food was fresh and delicious, and the restaurant casual and unpretentious. I don't know where Turquaz stands amongst other places around town, but after trying their food, I'm so down with discovering more hidden gems like this!