This Arlington counter-service restaurant typifies the neighborhood spot.
Kite Runner Cafe
For: Cheap craft beer
3800 Lee Highway, Arlington
Kite Runner Cafe sells Flying Dog Double IPA for $3.85 (with tax) and makes its own naan. That should be enough, but this Arlington counter-service restaurant also excels in creamy samosas ($2.99 for two huge turnovers) and a savory, saucy chickpea stew. A spicy chicken kabob trumps the tougher lamb.
The butternut squash (kadu chalow) turned up stringy and the spinach tastes of its frozen beginnings, but pouring the thick and creamy hummus over top makes it all better. There’s enough on this menu to find a favorite grab-and-go dish; the perfect example of a neighborhood spot. -Stefanie Gans