A new trailer parked near Nicollet and Ninth Street in downtown Minneapolis is bringing a taste of the world to our Midwestern streets. Owner Chris Millner has traveled the world and found a great idea in the doner kebabs of eastern Australia.
We stopped by to give them a try. Lesson number one learned: It's not doner like the Donner party, it's doner like loner.
Doner kebabs are like a sibling to a gyro and a near-cousin of al pastor. All are meats roasted on a vertical spit. (Doner is the Turkish word for turning.) Millner discovered them while traveling through Australia. Aussie's Kebabs offers the doner ($7.25), a chicken ($7.25) or a vegetarian kebab ($7) featuring Portabella mushrooms.
The sandwiches are easy to eat with just one hand -- an ideal perk for curbside dining on the go. The doner kebab is a spiced blend of lamb and beef. There was a nice crust on one side of the meat; the other was juicy and highly flavorful. The sides he offers are some zesty Aussie chili sauces and Sriracha, but we went for the traditional tzatziki sauce, which they make. It was a nice, creamy balance. The entire business was wrapped in a dense, chewy flatbread with tomatoes, lettuce, and raw onion. Then it's grilled, giving the bread a crispy exterior.
The only drawback were those out-of-season, pink and mealy tomatoes. I dream of the day tomatoes will be freed from their expectant role in the sandwich universe and only appreciated during their all-too-short season.
I went crazy and ordered an extra side of the house-made roasted red bell pepper sauce. It was a vibrant red with an addictively zesty flavor. Although I sabotaged my ability to walk and eat, it was worth it.
Right now Aussie's Kebabs is only taking cash, but Millner hopes to add credit cards soon.