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The Homer Horizon 021518

20 | February 15, 2018 |

20 | February 15, 2018 | The Homer Horizon HOMER GLEN homerhorizon.com RIZZACARS.COM 8100 W. 159th Street | Orland Park 8130 W. 159th Street | Orland Park 8150 W. 159th Street | Orland Park 8425 W. 159th Street | Tinley Park

homerhorizon.com DINING OUT the Homer Horizon | February 15, 2018 | 21 The DIsh Kismet carries on as family business of destiny Orland Park eatery now run by former owner’s nephew Thomas Czaja, Editor Kismet means destiny or faith in Turkish. When the Kismet restaurant was first opened in Orland Park in 1977 by Roy Tufekcioglu, it was an act of faith — one that materialized in four decades and counting of selling its signature gyros and other food items. Last April, Tufekcioglu decided to retire and hand the reins of the business over to his nephew Ervin Ramazanoski, who now heads the day-to-day operations, though he owns it with his mother, father and brothers. For Ramazanoski, keeping the business in the family and leading it was a destiny he knew he wanted to fulfill. “It was destiny for us to be here,” Ramazanoski said. “We plan on keeping it going for another 40 years.” Since acquiring ownership, Ramazanoski has kept the menu largely the same, with the aforementioned gyros — as well as the burgers, beef, chicken, hot dogs, soup and salads — but he also made a few tweaks. He introduced delivery service for the first time as an added convenience for customers. He made the catering more extensive, utilizing a simple menu, so customers can easily pick up the phone and get what they want, while still being able to customize different orders, he said. Another thing Ramazanoski did is add a number of items. They decided to add a number of wraps, including a gyro wrap. They also added a honey mustard chicken sandwich, beef roll and chicken Parmesan that all cost $6.99 each. He even has eggs and will sometimes make a breakfast dish for customers, if they ask for them, though those and none of the other new things are officially listed on the menu. The owner said he plans to have all them remain available but not list them to keep things simple. But Ramazanoski knows what will always be No. 1. “The gyros were on the menu and will always be on the menu,” Ramazanoski said. “It’s what we’re known for. When I took over, I had nothing but gyros for a month.” The gyros are cut fresh off the spit, right in front of customers. Kismet uses Kronos gyro meat — a seasoned blend of selected beef and lamb — and adds its personalized touch. “We have a special blend of seasonings that we use,,” Ramazanoski said. “It’s like a Mediterranean, Turkish blend.” The gyro dinner and grilled chicken gyro dinner (both feed two and are $12.75) are popular choices, with the former coming with extra meat, extra pita, tomato, onion, olives, feta cheese and homemade cucumber sauce, and the latter the same extras and ingredients plus lettuce. “Everything is fresh ingredients,” Ramazanoski said. “While other people cut corners, we sharpen our edges. We do not skimp on anything. Everything is brought in pretty much daily ... whatever doesn’t get used is thrown out.” To completely summarize or sample Kismet, a patron needs to save room for dessert, as 16 different flavors Kismet 9931 W. 151st St. in Orland Park Hours • 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday • 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday For more information ... Web: www. kismetorlandpark.com Phone: (708) 349-2205 of ice cream are available year-round, not to mention shakes, malts and other desserts, such as Oreo cookie balls ($1.78) and baklava ($1.99). “Our ice cream comes from Wisconsin and is Cedar Crest,” Ramazanoski said. “People love the flavors. I got birthday cake, butter pecan or chocolate vanilla, strawberry, if you want to keep it simple. ... On top of that, you can make any shake out of my ice cream. ... Make it how you like it.” Those who venture into Kismet Monday through Friday can try a daily special each day for $4.99. Ramazanoski also began serving quesadillas — again, not on the menu — and said they have become a Friday special. “We have the flour tortillas, and we already use cheddar cheese, so we just put them together,” Ramazanoski said of the quesadillas. “It came out phenomenal. ... It just makes sense.” No matter what patrons get, they keep coming out. When Ramazanoski’s uncle first opened the establishment, he decided to pay homage and show appreciation to his customers by putting up a collage of their photographs on the wall. It eventually extended and Kismet owner Ervin Ramazanoski holds the gyro dinner ($12.75), which feeds two and comes with extra meat, extra pita, tomato, onion, olives, feta cheese and homemade cucumber sauce. Photos by James Sanchez/22nd Century Media The chicken caesar wrap ($6.33) is another popular dish with patrons at Kismet. “blew up” to the many photos that still adorn the interior of Kismet, according to Ramazanoski. The current owner plans to sustain that tradition. “We are in the works of getting another [collage of photos of customers] made,” he said. “We’re going to keep it going.” Ramazanoski added he “stepped in with wet feet” for knowing how to run things with 13 years of experience in the restaurant industry. He has thoroughly enjoyed getting to know customers both old and new. “I love it,” Ramazanoski said. “I love my customers. They’re great. They work with me, and I work with them. If they want to try something different, I’ll always help them out. ... I love them all.”