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Kababji Grill, South Dupont - A Lebanon-Based Chain Comes to the U.S. - Closed

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Build out started a couple weeks ago for Kababji Grill, street level of the SEIU building on Connecticut Avenue (S. Dupont) next door to the Big Hunt. The slick promo photo spread outside gives it a corporate/chain feel, but can't find any websites...

Considering the space use to be a computer/office/print shop type place and there are a tangle of wires and duct work hanging from the ceiling, I'm guessing the build out will take a while.

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This new kabob place is close to opening in Dupont Circle next to the Big Hunt. Appears to be days away and looks really nice inside. Anyone been to their shops in the Middle East? Supposedly several locations are planned in DC. Good to see some foreign chains opening first in DC rather than NY or elsewhere (e.g., Nandos).

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They opened this week. Stopped by for some lunch with a couple of co-workers. They've done a pretty nice job of transforming the space. Standard middle eastern fare, main choice is between a series of platters ($12-15) or a series of sandwiches ($6-10) plus hummous, baba g etc etc as appetizers.

LOTS of nervous looking staff everywhere. Very helpful but occasionally smothering (picking up plates literally the second you finish, multiple water refills etc etc). Baba ganoush was very nice....smoky....just the way I like it. Hummous was a little bland and the fresh baked pita was the biggest disappointment - no real taste, just a vehicle for absorbing the dips.

Shish Taouk sandwiches are good with very moist, nicely seasoned chicken and are $6. An extra dollar gets you about 4-5 french fries in the sandwich which I didn't think was VFM. A better strategy would be to get a plate of fries $3 and add them yourself.

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So Circle Bistro was closed for a private party, as was the lounge at Firefly. Once I convinced myself I hadn't actually gotten frostbite wandering around, my dining companion and I wound up across the street from Kababji.

Trying to find a place for a business dinner meeting with WiFi is not easy (yes, I need to make a comprehensive survey and update the Restaurants with WiFi thread -- who wants to tell that to my day job?), but Kababji has a little sign on its door advertising its network. We asked if we should sit in the bar and the host smilingly pointed us that way, saying to me as I passed, "Oh, this is our network password." Good thing, too!

A high four-top had ample room for two diners and two computers, but what really made the night was the unexpected lucking into happy hour: sampler plates for $5 each, and drinks for the same or less. The red wine being offered was also discounted by the bottle by the very gracious food and beverage manager.

The mini-pitas were tender and tasty, with great flavor to the cubes of meat in each sandwich, although really I could have eaten a plate of the pickles stuffed into the beef pita. A tomato-cucumber salad was light and refreshing, while the dips were standard but fit the bill.

Honestly, it was far more than I expected on an arctically-frigid Tuesday evening, and Kababji left an overall favorable and pleasant impression. I wouldn't mind meeting regularly here, and exploring the menu further.

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Thanks to a kind and generous soul (you know who you are :mellow: ) passing along a soon-to-expire certificate, I had the opportunity to check out Kababji Grill a few nights ago. The outside temperature was at the opposite end of the spectrum from when leleboo made the last post in this thread. Fortunately, the AC was cranking and it was quite pleasant in the dining room. The space is very nice, with lots of little details and designs to amuse the eyes.

We started with a few shared appetizers: Kebbeh Laktin (pumpkin kibbeh) and Salatit al Raheb (Monk Salad - roasted eggplant with tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc). The Kebbeh was a bit different than what I expected - rather than individual 'footballs', it was a thin, layered dish with chard in between the wheat/pumpkin crust. It wasn't bad, though a bit dry on the sides that appeared to be from the corner of the pan - easily remedied with by a dollop of the cucumber/yogurt sauce on the plate. The eggplant had a pleasantly mild smoky flavor and was complemented by the sparing use of onion and peppers.

After a late notification that the daily special was no longer available (and a rapidly approaching movie start time), we opted to share the other entree that had been ordered - the Intabli Kabab - a spicy ground (or 'refined') beef kabab. Flavor was good, though not overwhelmingly spicy, and the portion was generous enough that we were both glad we didn't wind up with the other item. Service was attentive, but not intrusive, with water filled regularly and the timing just about right. I'd head back if I'm in the area.

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And sustainable too!

Get Your Kabab On

Posted on August 4, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

New Clean Currents customer, Kababji Grill is going above and beyond the benchmark for operating a sustainable restaurant (and their delicious menu is an added bonus!).

Speaking to PJ Kern, Catering and Sales Manager at Kababji, we learned that the restaurant is:

Located in a LEED-certified building
The building also has a green roof (although not for food purposes)
Nearly all of their produce is sourced from local, organic farms in Maryland and Pennsylvania
Kababji recycles everything that they can - from glass, to plastic, paper goods, and waste

We asked PJ why he and Kababji were interested in wind power, and here are his answers:


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