If you can't find something you'd like to eat at Dooners, it's not their fault.

It's not that this Riverton eatery has such a huge menu. It's just that the menu they've got covers so much ground: southwestern, "Tex-Mex" fare; gelato; baked goods; and "Dooners," Americanized versions of doner kebabs, a Turkish specialty that's especially popular in Germany.

Dooners is really three restaurants in one high-ceilinged, clean and pleasant dining space, which gives off just a whiff of upscale with its stone counters and dark-wood furnishings. There's the Tex-Mex side, called Bascom Ranch Southwest Grille, the sweet side, and the Dooners side. That's the part that's most unfamiliar to many Utahns, but it was my favorite section of the menu.

Dooners is proud to have Americanized the doner kebab, and it shows in the goofy names for the menu's various "stuft Dooners," grilled pita pockets filled with marinated meats and fixings. There's the DoonerBzztmark, pronounced "Dooner Bismarck" by the staff, the DoonerBob and the DoonerWammer.

But once you've got one in your mitts, you'll discover that they're seriously good. The meat we tried was uniformly excellent, though my favorite was the juicy pork. Each pita pocket was full of vegetables, including what tasted mightily like German rotkohl, plus a just-sweet but not overly assertive sauce that went well with everything. My husband liked the Bzztmark, a mix of surprisingly tender steak and chicken.

We also tried the Bascom Southwest Burrito with prime rib. You can get this belly buster filled with beans, sauce and fixings, with steak, pork or chicken, and though I liked the prime rib with the Tex-Mex flavors, I think I'd enjoy a more assertive meat, like the steak, a bit more.

My four children each had a different Dooners kids' meal: one a pita pocket filled with cheese, another a cheese quesadilla folded in a soft flour tortilla. My oldest liked the pita filled with peanut butter and jelly, while my 7-year-old, a carnivore, enjoyed the junior version of a chicken Dooner.

We all shared the sides: Mexican rice and creamy-firm chili beans; crispy french fries and flavorful sweet-potato fries.

For dessert, we had a dark, cakey brownie with scads of fudgy frosting, plus two kinds of gelato. The mint chocolate was tasty, though its chocolate pieces dominated the flavor mix, while the peach mango was simply divine, a beautifully balanced blend of icy fruit that was supremely refreshing.

Stuffed pita pockets $5.95-$7.95, southwest items $5.95-$8.95, sides $1.99, kids' meals $3.99, pastries 99 cents-$1.95, daily specials $6.25-$8.25.

Dooners

Rating: ***

Where: 2778 W. 12600 South, Riverton

Hours: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday; Closed Sunday

Payment: Major credit cards accepted

Phone: 254-3663

Web site: www.doonersgrille.com

Wheelchair access: Easy

Also: Drive-thru, catering and takeout available; kids eat free with a paying adult on Tuesdays


Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret News.

E-mail: [email protected]