Bread & Kabob. The name says it all, at least where the menu is concerned. The restaurant features a dozen kabob varieties, served either atop large rounds of pita bread or alongside a mound of seasoned basmati rice, and the restaurant seems to think highly of them.
The store window, calling attention to the narrow storefront in a small Bailey’s Crossroad plaza, sports in giant letters the phrase “best kabobs in town,” and diners are invited to see what goes into making these kabobs the moment they open the door. Behind a long counter, beneath which various hummus and pickled vegetable containers give take-away customers a look at what sides can accompany their kabobs, comes an incredible noise and heat. Cooks toss sword-like skewers over the fire-spitting grill, cooking meats like chicken, lamb, beef, and even salmon.
While dinner comes with a show, the restaurant itself provides few other thrills. Nondescript black diner tables and chairs fill the dining area, and a large TV screen in the corner allows the dinner crowd to catch up on the evening news while enjoying their meals. As for the plates, cups and flatware, they’re all cast in Styrofoam and plastic. The meal is plated in a less-than-elegant fashion, but that doesn’t detract from the quality of the meal, especially considering that the kabobs only set diners back about $9 per plate and amiable service and help-yourself tea make for a charming, if no-frills, dining experience.
Kabobs are served, whether with the deliciously seasoned basmati rice or the clay-oven baked pita bread, alongside a cup of cold tomatoes and cucumbers and a tangy oil-based sauce. With the kabobs are large, charred onion slices and a wonderfully warm, sweet and savory tomato slice that nearly leaps out of its fire-grilled skin.
The chicken kabobs, marinated so deeply that even the innermost morsels of the chicken are colored orange and yellow with the restaurant’s blend of spices, have a tough outer wall forged by facing the flame-grilling giving way to tender, juicy chicken beneath. The lamb kabobs are similarly delightful, with fatty and savory flavors combining in each bite.
The restaurant admirably provides a fish option for those less inclined to dine upon the many meat kabob varieties, served both in chunks and in ground bits, but the skewered pieces of well-cooked salmon are under-seasoned and unimpressive.
A perfect accompaniment to the kabobs is the restaurant’s hummus, a deliciously creamy seasoned chickpea paste which, in this restaurant’s rendition, is thick, and also plentiful for a $3 serving. Smeared onto a bit of pita bread, or a spoon for the eager, it is a treat pleasant in both taste and texture.
While kabobs dominate the menu, other authentic Middle Eastern items are featured, like the dizi, a Persian beef stew, and dugh, a super salty, mint-flavored yogurt drink that, while made with carbonated water, bears absolutely no resemblance to the sweetened sodas that can also accompany a meal.
Be it for a quick take-out meal or a very casual dinner out, Bread & Kabob is a great pick for cheap eats, especially for those looking for the simplicity of a dozen-item menu.
Bread & Kabob is located at 3407 Payne St., Falls Church. For more information, call 703-845-2900 or visit freshkabobs.com. Restaurant hours are Monday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.