|Restaurant:||Kabob Grill – Exquisite Mediterranean Cuisine|
|Rating:||4 out of 5 spoons|
One word. FALAFEL!
I loved the Kabob Grill and can’t wait to go try some of their pita wraps. I have to warn you, however, that the boyfriend has the polar opposite opinion and didn’t care for anything we ate there. You’ll have to decide who to believe (cough, cough, me, cough).
We visited last Thursday and were greeted with the aroma of grilled meat — a good sign! We had to wait a couple of minutes for a table in the small dining room. The menu includes careful descriptions and our waiter was ready with recommendations when I asked. We chose the Falafel for our appetizer, which proved to be my favorite decision of the night (well, I’m also a fan of my decision to get ice cream after dinner, but I digress). The Falafel were perfect — crispy on the outside, moist and soft on the inside. They were served with pita bread, some marinated veggies, and tahini sauce. The Falafel gave us the first hint of the bitterness that would be a common theme throughout all of our dishes that night (I enjoyed it, but Mike got tired of it quickly — think an olive-like bitter flavor); it was a deeper flavor than the Falafel I’m used to.
Kabob Grill Falafel
For his entree, Mike chose the Grilled Kafta Kabob. Kafta is described as “a blend of ground beef, spices, parsley and onion” and to be honest, it wasn’t the best choice. While the kabobs had a good flavor, they turned out to be rather dry — needed a sauce perhaps — and Mike ended up donating his last kabob to his fantastic girlfriend (score!).
Kabob Grill Kafta Kabob with Potato Harra and Yalanji
The Potato Harra he chose as a side item fared better. It’s described on the menu as “cubes of fried potato, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, red pepper and cilantro,” which led me to imagine a creative hashbrown-type dish, but it turned out to be much lighter than that. The tang of the lemon is delicious and offsets the deeper flavors in the kabobs. Yum.
Mike’s second side item, the Yalanji, were “grape leaves, rice, garlic, onion, tomato, spices, lemon juice and olive oil” — think Greek dolmades but without the minced meat. Cool wikipedia fact: yalanji actually means “liar” or “fake” in Turkish, and these little grape leaf masterpieces are called that because they don’t contain meat. I loved them; the filling took on a creaminess because of the oil and lemon juice. Once again, the bitterness shows up in the grape leaves.
I chose the Vegetarian Combo for my entree based on my waiter’s recommendation. It was a great way to sample several of the Mediterranean dishes at once and at $13 was also one of the least expensive options. Apart from more Falafel, Yalanji and Potato Harra, the Vegetarian Combo also included Hommos, Tabbouleh, Baba Ghannouj, and Spinach Pie.
The Hommos and Baba Ghannouj were good but not totally distinguishable (maybe my tastebuds aren’t savvy enough!). I thoroughly enjoyed dredging my pita, Falafel, fingers, and Mike’s kabobs in both of them regardless! And there was plenty for dipping anything and everything your heart desired, as you can see from the picture below. The Tabbouleh, I gotta admit, was not my taste. It’s described as “cracked wheat, parsley, tomato, onion, lemon juice, olive oil and dry mint” and tasted a little bitter and herby. The texture was what killed it for me, though — so much chopped parsley and mint that I felt a little like I was chewing on my lawn. I spread it out on my plate so it would look like I ate more of it . . . didn’t want to hurt the waiter’s feelings or anything, but I’m not a lawn-clippings kinda girl.
Spinach pie fared well although the crust was too crispy in places. I could’ve handled more spinach on the inside as well, but anything (or nothing) in pastry is a victory to me.
Kabob Grill Vegetarian Combo — Hommos, Tabbouleh, Baba Ghannouj, Falafel, Spinach Pie, Yalanji and Potato Harra
All in all, in my opinion, Kabob Grill was a success (although in Mike’s opinion, we’re never going back — spoil sport). There are a delicious array of Mediterranean dishes at reasonable prices, with very different flavors than other cuisines I’ve tried. Be prepared for the pervasive bitterness and puckering flavors like olives and lemon. And don’t listen to my boyfriend.
Have you been to the Kabob Grill? Have a question about my experience at the restaurant? Want to harangue my boyfriend for his opinions? Share your thoughts by clicking on the “Comments” link below.