CUISINE Middle Eastern, Barbecue, Vegetarian/Vegan
PRICE Under $12
HOURS Open 24 hours.
NVM AWARDS None
NEARBY METRO Blue Line(Crystal City) Yellow Line(Crystal City)
SPECIAL FEATURES24 Hrs
By Warren Rojas
When it comes to quelling hunger pangs, kabobs appear to cut across all borders. At least that’s the way it seems at the original Kabob Palace—an after-hours stronghold whose dining room often resembles a United Nations of protein-seeking night owls.
A gorgeous mural of an open-air bazaar adorns the far wall of the L-shaped main dining room. A truly international clientele—everyone from off-duty cops to Middle Eastern families to full camo-wearing Army personnel can be found at the nearly dozen tables—keeps things lively inside, while the constantly ringing phone keeps the kitchen crew busy at all hours.
The main deli case is always stacked with skewers of assorted meats, while daily specials and vegetarian-friendly sides are dished out from the hot bar alongside the register. Every order is accompanied by freshly baked pita made in the kitchen’s traditional tandoor oven. Meanwhile, a condiment caddy bearing sliced white onions, chopped lemons and slim but feisty green chilies helps customize each meal.
Lamb chop kabobs bring fists of spiced succulence that tap into the primal urge to rip and tear at spit-roasted meats; the exposed bones arrive wrapped in tinfoil so even unsteady hands can bring food to face without further interruption. Seasoned ground beef (kubideh) delivers welcome heat. Bone-in chicken is moist and meaty, while its boneless counterparts yield pink boulders that spill their juicy payload with every bite. Basmati rice is nice but gets even better when topped with sauteed spinach hiding stewed potatoes.