Friday, February 19, 2010

Café Kabab

I was in Catonsville for a haircut the other day, and decided to stop in one of the nearby eateries for lunch. Sam's Bagels was a frequent stop of mine, but for some reason it was closed (at noon no less). Among the various other options was a fairly new place selling various types of kababs. The barber had never been to Café Kabab but he said one of his patrons recommended it.

My original intention was to just grab a menu. But the very sparsely decorated Café Kabab had an equally sparse menu. Apart from some beverages, pretty much all they do are kababs, all of which range from about $10 to $12. I ordered the kofta kabab (about $10), which came with complimentary rice, salad, cucumber sauce and flat bread and my choice of spinach or chickpeas (I went with the chickpeas).

There were mostly good things about this meal. I started nibbling the bread in the car. The bread was soft and hot, which may seem unremarkable except for the fact that the flat bread I get from kabab places is usually never hotter than lukewarm. My favorite part of the meal was the rice, which nicely absorbed the juices from the kofta. The chickpeas also had a nice velvety texture and I was sad to finish it so quickly.

The downside to the meal was the main attraction. Like a lead actor eclipsed by his co-stars, the kabab had some good points and some bad points. The extremely strong cumin flavor masked even the spiciness of the kabab. This did not detract from the kabab, because I liked this flavor a lot. What I didn't go for was the softness of the kabab. Kababs I have eaten in the past have usually been more or less firm. Maybe the restaurant (or its supplier) grinds the meat very fine. Maybe that's it, because the meat had an unsettlingly pasty consistency. When I put a piece of kabab inside my flat bread, it got flat almost in the way a lump of polenta might've gotten. I just found myself finishing everything else much faster and more eagerly. I didn't enjoy the kabab as much as I did the sides.

On a tangential note: Yes, I finally got a new camera! I replaced my long-dead Nikon Coolpix 4600 (the screen got crushed somehow) with the slimmer L20 model of the same brand. It must be popular, as it was the cheapest one at Office Depot and nobody in the area was carrying anything other than the floor model. So they let me buy the floor model.


Kimberly said...

Any thoughts on the new Atwaters (next to Blue Iris, after Catonsville Gourmet) on Frederick Road?

I live nearby, I think it just recently appeared.

John said...

Haven't been to said Atwater's. I know I like the one up in Belvedere Square, but that's as helpful as I can be.