It just got a lot easier to get a kebab and some sweet baklava in Clovis with the opening of two new Mediterranean restaurants.
Doy Grill and Tofas are both designed to feed you quickly, but their menus vary big time.
Mediterranean is a term that covers lots of different cuisines. At Doy Grill, the food is Turkish and Greek. The restaurant is near Fowler Avenue next to Starbucks.
Owner Nevzat Ozder is from Istanbul and many of the recipes are ones he created or his parents made. Ozder is a chef who used to work at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills and for a cruise ship before moving to the Valley to be closer to family.
Think of his restaurant as the Chipotle of Mediterranean food -- at least when it comes to ordering.
Diners order at a counter, choosing from various options that are added to the plate. Main dish choices include long strips of beef kebab, chicken kebab, spicy beef or chunks of chicken in a garlic Alfredo sauce.
There’s also eggplant moussaka in both vegetarian and meat-eater versions. It has layers of eggplant, ground beef (in the meat version), tomatoes, garlic and peppers.
Though it’s a dish that’s new to many people, it’s proving surprisingly popular.
“Once they taste it, they get hooked,” Ozder says.
Along with the main dish, customers choose from rice pilaf or bulgur pilaf, which comes from wheat. Next on the plate is a choice garbanzo or white beans, followed by a salad that’s a little different than the standard one because it has Persian cucumbers, dill and cilantro. Then there’s a side of Jajik, a dip made from yogurt, dill, cucumber and garlic that you can dip your pita bread in. A tiny square of baklava tops off the meal.
“‘Doy’ means ‘get full’ in Turkish,” Ozder says. “People complain it’s too much [food].”
Depending on how many main items you order, the plate costs between $7.95 and $13.95.
You can see Doy Grill’s menu and photos of the food on its Facebook page. Details: at 1845 Herndon Ave. (559) 324-8048.
Tofas Mediterranean Grill also opened last month in the new Clovis Crossing Regional Shopping Center at Herndon and Clovis avenues near the new Stein Mart.
This restaurant has a huge menu and serves Greek and Arabic food -- a version of Arabic food that’s very similar to Lebanese food, says CEO Tobias Teran.
You’re going to be seeing a lot more of Tofas as the corporation plans on opening three more Valley locations in the next few years.
The next will open in the Campus Pointe development under construction at Fresno State next year. That restaurant will be right next to the planned movie theater and have a full bar and an outdoor patio.
Kebab Grill on Gateway Drive in Madera is in the process of converting to Tofas and will be finished within a year. The last location will be in the Fresno 40 development planned for Friant Road and Audubon Drive.
The corporation is based partially in the Valley and partially in Houston, which will also be home to a few more locations.
The name Tofas is a combination of several owners’ names.
But back to the food. In addition to traditional Mediterranean food, this restaurant has options for people who prefer easing into a new cuisine. So you’ll find salads, sandwiches and a thin-crust Greek flatbread pizza on the menu topped with tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives and feta cheese. There are burgers too, including a lamb burger.
There are kebabs -- the chicken kebab platter is the most popular -- made here as chunks of beef or chicken.
And you can get shawarma. If you’ve been to The Broilers restaurants, you’ve probably seen these big vertical stacks of meat broiled on a metal skewer. Meat is cut off with a big knife and served on a platter with rice pilaf and vegetables, or on a salad or sandwich.
You can find more information about Tofas on its Facebook page. Details: 1095 Herndon Ave., Suite 107. (559) 297-8632.