The restaurant scene in Hackensack is full of all sorts of cuisine; from American and Italian food to Japanese and Chinese fare, you can find it all. But thanks to Tugce (Tess) Ural, you can know also enjoy Turkish food at El Turco Grill on Main Street. The menu offers a healthy mix of meat, fish, and veggies.
Ural owns and manages the new eatery, where they serve “traditional Turkish food with a modern twist,” she says. “We take traditional tastes and combine them with the chef’s secret recipes.” As you might expect, Turkish food is familiar to Ural. “The food we cook is the food we grew up eating,” she says; the chef at El Turco Grill, Yusuf, is also her husband.
As of now, the nearly 2,500-square foot BYOB restaurant seats 65 people. However, an outdoor seating space in front of the restaurant is in the works. “We love the Hackensack community,” Ural says about the great early response to El Turco Grill.
The Menu at El Turco Grill
Since opening, the most popular dish is adana kebab. To make it, they grill and mince lamb with a mix of peppers. Then they shape the meat into a kebab and cook it on a skewer. Likewise, they offer a chicken version of the adana kebab. “We cook our food with love,” Ural insists; she also tells us their meat is tender and juicy thanks to a secret family recipe. Aside from their meat options, they also boast vegetarian and vegan choices.
El Turco Grill offers both catering and takeout, and works with delivery apps like Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates. Click here to see the full menu.
Like for any new restaurant owner, Ural says the experiences includes its share of ups and downs. But so far, it has all been worth it. “Owning and operating a restaurant has been really fun so far,” she says. “I enjoy meeting new people every day. We treat our guests like they’re part of our family.”
Of course, Ural also enjoys working with her husband. “When we’re closing the restaurant together every night, we’re happy and content that people leave our restaurant with smiles, give us great feedback, and send us beautiful reviews,” she says. “As husband and wife, I believe that we make a good team.”
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