Ravi Kabob House I

Written by on May 10, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(ravikabobusa.com) – Buckingham neighborhood, Arlington, Virginia

How I heard of this place: Ravi kabob was first recommended to us by our friend Sahba, when we realized he worked right across the street from where we live, and we were thinking of grabbing dinner sometime. After several unsuccessful attempts, I found Ravi kabob, again, on the Washington Post’s “40 Dishes Every Washingtonian Must Try” list (http://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/40-dishes-every-washingtonian-must-try/2011/12/23/gIQA9KRbOP_gallery.html#photo=5). Kit, our dining companion, was interested in local/nearby dining spot and asked if we had a recommendation. We sure did!

Type of cuisine: I couldn’t agree more with the Washington Post review (http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/restaurants/ravi-kabob-house,1156081.html): “hearty, no-frills Pakistani food“. A lone appetizer, the main attractions: chicken, beef and lamb, and “Bolstering the daily menu, Ravi offers four specials on weekends and a regular, revolving trio of specials every weekday. Wednesdays, for example, bring kofta curry with egg ($8.99), a slightly greasy but tasty comfort-food dish of beef meatballs and whole hard-cooked eggs in a thick, spicy sauce. Among the drinks, you’ll find the typical lassi ($2.50) and mango lassi ($2.99). But for a more unusual experience, go for the Kashmiri tea ($1.50). The warm, peachy-pink brew is redolent of cardamom; milk lends richness, and a sprinkle of pistachio nuts adds flavor and texture. Be aware that salt is a traditional ingredient in this drink, so the sodium-averse won’t be charmed. But others might find it — well, exactly their cup of tea.”

Ravi Kabob House

Ambiance: So popular, they had to open Ravi Kabob House II across the street, Ravi Kabob does not seem it when you first walk up to the strip mall establishment(s). “Customers, most there for carryout, regularly pack the seen-better-days storefronts in the Buckingham neighborhood despite the area’s acute parking shortage.”

What I ordered: Knowing we had to sample more than one item on the menu, and not realizing how large the plates actually are, Chris and I opted to share. We started with the Special Samosa ($2.99), served in a bowl with chana (spicy chickpeas) and topped with raita.

Raita

Chris and I also shared the Chicken Kabob – Boneless ($10.50), served with a small salad, a generous helping of rice, Lahori choley (a spicy chana/chickpea curry) and whole wheat naan.

Chicken & Chana

Curious about the lentils (daal), I asked if we might have one spoon of it to sample, and the gentleman dishing us up, pulled out a bowl, and immediately filled it (one cup serving), for free!

Daal

Kit ordered the Lamb Kabob ($10.99), with the same sides.

What I loved: The chicken. Juicy, succulent, flavorful (tandoori style). YUM! The special samosa and the chana, too, the whole reason we went, were out of this world.

Why I loved it: This small place, with its limited menu is unstoppable and the continuous lines out the door are testament to that fact. Although you have to place your order, pick it up at the other end of the counter/food display area and take it to your seat, seemingly with little to no assistance from server staff, you are never alone at Ravi Kabob House. A friendly, gentle, white-capped gentleman unobtrusively meanders through the space, ensuring the cleanliness of tables, adequately filled water cups (styrofoam) and delicately asking how you are, how the food tastes and what you think of the service. (http://www.washingtonian.com/restaurantreviews/2006/10/ravi-kabob-house.php)

Cost: Low to average ($9.50 – $12.99 per large, sharable entree, including naan)

**Note: This is a cash-only operation!**

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