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Walk in to the Turkish Cafe and Lounge in Plano, TX and the first thing you’ll notice are the shiny, elaborate stained-glass lamps adorning the ceiling.

For those familiar with Greek or Middle Eastern food, Turkish cuisine is easy to adopt. Just don’t think a gyro is the same in every country of the Mediterranean.

The strips of gyro meat served over toasted bread chunks were very tender and flavorful. The tomato-garlic sauce was very good, and the simple plain Greek yogurt that came on the side was a refreshing complement to the rest of the dish. I loved the grilled tomato and green bell pepper, especially dipped in yogurt. I only wish there would have been a few more veggies on the plate, and I missed the pita bread that is served with Greek-style gyros, and the meat wasn’t the same as Greek gyro meat.

The eggplant kebabs were skewered alongside lamb meatballs and served over rice with pickled cabbage and salad. I missed the yogurt that I had with the gyro, but when I requested some I was given tzatziki. Not the same thing, but good enough. I am an eggplant lover and enjoyed the dish, but the eggplant could have used a brush of olive oil and more seasoning.

The falafels were delicious little pillows of chickpea goodness, with a proper crunchy outer shell and warm, soft interior. They were served with a tzatiki-like yogurt sauce and were delicious paired with the babaganoush.

For dessert, the waiter brought a poached pear stuffed with walnuts and topped with whipped cream for the birthday girl I was celebrating with on my first visit to the restaurant. She took a bite and kindly asked if anyone at the table would like to try it. I happen to love pears. A lot. So inevitably the pear made its way down the table to me, and I must admit I devoured it. But then the waiter brought out two full plates of delicious fresh fruit for everyone to share. It was a never-ending feast! From appetizers to dessert, I could taste the beauty of the Mediterranean diet in everything I ate at the Turkish Cafe and Lounge.