Food & Drink

This Döner Kebab Sandwich from a New Hamtramck Cafe Is a Must-Eat, Enthusiasts Gush


June 12, 2019, 4:43 PM

Devotees of the döner kebab sandwich at Hamtramck's three-month-old Balkan House cafe go on so effusively that it sounds nearly life-changing.

Melody Baetens doesn't describe an epiphany in her Detroit News review Wednesday, though she does drop "incredibly satisfying," "savory" and "raving" under the headline "People are freaking out over this Hamtramck sandwich."


"The only döner game in town."
(Photo: Instagram, Balkan House)

Two weeks earlier at Metro Times, Tom Perkins said it "lives up to the hype, and it's the only döner game in town."

Baetens describes the over-stuffed delicacy as a "traditionally Turkish treat that is often inhaled at late-night cafes and food stands all across Europe."

The döner kebab at Balkan House cafe on Caniff in Hamtramck is a savory, peppery sandwich that has Hamtramck residents, visitors and my fellow food writers across the city raving. . . .

It's making Balkan House a talker around town, especially within Hamtramck and food-centric circles. I feel like every week another friend on social media is posting about the filling. . . .

The Balkan House's version uses very thinly sliced meat, a mix of lamb and beef, that is stuffed into a soft, house-made loaf.

It's topped with lettuce and cucumber for a nice crunch, tomatoes and a yogurt-based "döner sauce," which is a secret recipe that owner Juma Ekic obtained from her nephew's döner shop in Berlin. She offers the sauce in spicy and mild and tops it with a dusting of reddish-purple sumac spice.

The review has a tantalizing description of her reaction to the $9 lunch or dinner item.

Baetens speaks truth, Curbed Detroit's editor confirms:


(Photo: Igor Marinovic)

Hungry yet?

  • Where: 3028 Caniff (first floor of a duplex home between Jos Campau and Conant)
  • Hours: It's open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday
  • Menu


Read more:  The Detroit News


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