Zeytin offers Turkish authenticity unlike anywhere else


Video store to Turkish cuisine? That’s a new one.

Before Zeytin claimed their pivotal spot in downtown Ada, an old video store held territory there. Soon after the video store closed and went up for sale, Zeytin, Grand Rapids’s best Turkish food, was open for business.

After eleven years of business, downtown Ada began its conversion into an updated and more structured town. Because of this, Zeytin was forced to shut down their old location and move into a new building.

Going to Zeytin’s new location for the first time is mind-blowing. The restaurant went from an almost below average look to upscale in less than a year. The white columns scream high quality, and the tall building feeds into Zeytin’s successful facade.

One thing I personally liked about the old location was that when you walked in, the environment did not feel like Ada. From the menus to the decor, Zeytin always played the Turkish role better than I have ever seen before. I was worried that because of moving from one location to another, Zeytin would lose some of that distinguishable authenticity they are outstandingly known for.

As soon as I walked through the doors I was relieved. The same environment that I once knew before became familiar to me again. The same distinct cloth that lined the seating at the old location still remained at the new location. The restaurant still holds undeniable originality, and in my book, that counts for a lot.

I was quickly seated in a booth and given pita bread with an oil concoction and butter. Such a typical starter seems like it would be cliche. In this case, it was anything but. The lethal combination was seemingly addicting. I couldn’t get enough.

When it came time to order, I decided on the house salad with chicken because that was my favorite at the old location. The time I ordered to when I received my plate was minimal. When my salad was placed in front of me, I was surprised by the overflowing portion that was only eleven dollars.

The first bite took me back to the first time I ever ate at Zeytin: flavor combinations I haven’t tried before, but impressive, and that was just the lettuce. Once I approached the actual chicken I was stunned. Let me tell you, I’m not even the biggest fan of chicken in the slightest, but it was the best I have ever had.

Overall, I would give the new Zeytin an 8/10. The food and environment were beyond my high standards. The only downfall was the service. The waitress seemed new because she was not paying much attention to us. Other than that factor, Zeytin was delightful, and I will definitely be going back.