It’s creamy, reddish and spicy. And now it’s in a bottle.
Okan Altug and Dilara Ceylan, owners of three locations of D’Lara Mediterranean Grill, began bottling their D’Lara Spicy Sauce earlier this summer.
Bottling the sauce, which Altug describes as a “spicy tzatziki,” was a bit of a logistical journey.
They make it on site and package it in squeeze bottles.
Turning the yogurt-based sauce into a shelf-stable product would take considerable research and changes to the recipe, which is why they’re selling it as a refrigerated product.
The flavor skews tangy with enough spicy tones to appeal to heat seekers. I’m looking at you, Sriracha lovers.
The tang is from the yogurt and the spice, and the intensity is from garlic and chile peppers. A mild sweetness is courtesy of tomato.
The sauce is a companion for the couple’s gyro platters. It’s served on the side with all orders in a little plastic tub along with the restaurant’s mint-heavy more traditional tzatziki sauce.
As for those gyro platters, Altug and Ceylan shave the beef-and-lamb gyro meat from a rotating meat cone.
Before opening their Bonney Lake store in March, the couple operated a gyro stand in the Tacoma Mall, which is where many Tacomans were introduced to Ceylan’s spicy tzatziki.
“She’s been doing the sauce since we started at our old SuperMall location. Over the years we’ve always had it as some component, but the last few years, people have asked if they could buy it in bigger portions,” said Altug.
Ceylan’s sauce is based on one she grew up eating in the Netherlands. That’s where she and her family moved after leaving their native Turkey in the early 1960s.
That sauce often is served with kebabs throughout the Netherlands and other parts of Europe.
Bottles of the D’Lara spicy tzatziki are available at the Bonney Lake location for $6.25 each. The sauce also is sold at the Auburn locations.
D’Lara Mediterranean Grill
Where: 9441 192nd Ave. E., Bonney Lake; 253-750-4693; laramediterraneangrill.com.