East of the Everyday
The Cuisine: Persian
The Place: Kabob House
The Large Kabob Platter includes grilled Cornish hen, chicken, lamb, beef tenderloin, ground sirloin, and grilled vegetables.
Experience a new world of tastes and colors as you journey east—to east Charlotte, that is. Kabob House opened more than a decade ago on Independence Boulevard, and despite its remote location has thrived and expanded.
The nondescript exterior is easy to miss driving by, but the inside tells a different story. Once a dingy deli counter, the space now more closely resembles a banquet hall. Persian rugs, arched entryways, fake palm trees, booths festooned with cushions, an ornate silver basin, and a four-foot-tall stone obelisk are just some of the decorations.
Among the appetizers, house-made feta squares were the standout—a perfect complement to kash and bademjanin, a mild, mellow, sautéed eggplant dip. Stuffed grape leaves, or dolmeh, here contain pomegranate as well as rice and spices. Must and khiar (diced baby cucumbers in yogurt) are refreshing, if a trifle plain.
Among the kabobs, the beef is tender, even when well done. The chicken has an understated but pleasing saffron flavor. The only disappointment was a fatty cut of lamb. Khoresh fesenjan (breast of chicken stewed with ground walnuts and pomegranate sauce) will not win many points on presentation. It looks like, well…stew. But it makes up for this on taste, with a complex, satisfying blend of sweet and savory flavors.
The restaurant also bills itself as a hookah and tea lounge. While we did not try the tobacco products, the strong, smooth Darjeeling tea was ideal for sipping while we lingered over our baklava or creamy pale gold pistachio ice cream. Kabob House may feel like a different world when you step through its doors, but it's a world that is comfortable and friendly. If you can dodge rush hour traffic, it's only about fifteen minutes from downtown. Think of it as the Not-So-Far East.
6432 E. Independence Blvd. 704-531-2500
$, L, D, BW.