I’ve experienced many different foods growing up, some of which remain my favorite dishes to this day. One such dish is the Eastern European version of the kebab, which I ate so often it became a regular part of my eating regimen. Granted, while The Kebab Shop serves the more common Mediterranean type, I was still particularly excited to review the self-proclaimed Mediterranean comfort food restaurant.
Walking in, I noticed the meat slowly roasting behind the cashiers right off the bat, and then being visibly cut off the skewers by employees.This was a nice touch, as it showed the meat was fresh and being cooked correctly. Next, I noticed the wonderful smells, most likely coming from the aforementioned meat and the spices used in the food.
Per the cashier’s reccomendation, I bought the Carved Lamb and Beef Wrap ($9.25), and tried the Chicken Kebab Wrap ($9.75) since wraps were common picks and a good way to judge both vegetables and meat. For sides, I ordered Hummus ($4.00) and the Macaroni Salad ($4.00).
The first things to come were the sides. I decided to delve into the Macaroni Salad before anything else. It took a few bites for the flavor to appear and once it did, it was mostly bell pepper and bacon bits. That in itself wasn’t that bad, but I had hoped for more flavor from the macaroni itself. Texturally, the dish was a little too rubbery for my liking and the overall flavor was underwhelming. I wouldn’t consider it bad, but it definitely did not live up to its potential.
I moved on to the Hummus, which came with eight pita bread slices. This intensely contrasted the taste of the Macaroni Salad. The strong flavor of the vegetables and the chickpeas paired perfectly with spices hit me immediately. The organic taste and smooth texture assured me it was fresh and made it easy to recognize it was not storebought. That said, it would be difficult to convince me to dislike hummus, as it is one of my favorite foods, but past experience told me this dish was very well made.
When I first bit into the Carved Lamb and Beef Wrap, all the flavors of the vegetables, sauce, meat and bread combined perfectly. The greens were crunchy and fresh, which made the whole dish much more appetizing. The meat was cooked and seasoned well, to the point where it was soft enough to melt in my mouth. Although the flavor of the lamb was fairly strong, it worked well with the other components of the meal. This was especially apparent in the garlic yogurt sauce, which brought the ingredients together into one coherent dish. The bread was thick enough to keep the ingredients together yet thin enough not to overpower them.
I finished off with the Chicken Kebab Wrap. The vegetables were just as fresh and the bread was the same ideal thickness, so the most significant difference was the meat. This was easily the best chicken I’ve had in awhile, or at any restaurant chain, at that. It was cooked excellently, not dry and incredibly tender and flavorful. The seasoning complemented the natural flavor of the meat. Needless to say, this dish was my favorite.
I would undoubtedly return to The Kebab Shop for their affordable prices and high quality food, especially their chicken. Because of my great first experience here, I would recommend that everyone give this Mediterranean comfort food a try.