Jump to content

Meat in a Box, Counter-Service Kabob House with Halal Meat on S. Washington Street - Downtown Falls Church - Closed


Recommended Posts

I drive Washington Blvd every day and just glanced over and noticed it this morning (same building as the marble and tile place). From what I can find it is a Persian take out spot. Does anyone have the scoop on this place? Why did they choose that name (is it a tribute to Timberlake and Samberg?!?!)? I consider myself a hardcore carnivore, but I can honestly say I didn't read the sign and think "Mmmmmmmmmm, meat in a box!" On the plus side, it is on the right side to make for an easy stop on the way home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, so Meat In A Box is finally open as of today. Hours will be 11:30am-9pm during the week and it sounded like 12-evening on the weekends after they figure out interest. The inside only seats 2 at this point, but more seats are promised, and they have 2 outside tables. The place is run by a husband and wife team, and what looked to be a younger brother and maybe 2 mothers in law (hah). It's very cute and clean inside, and I wonder if they'll take advantage of the monster hallway on the side of the kitchen. They take paper and plastic ($8 minimum) and have easily accessible restrooms.

It's a basic kebab place and they serve (ground) beef, chicken or veggie (I may have this wrong, not listed on the menu I have, but I thought I saw it up on the board), and shish kebab skewers on a homemade pita with diced tomatoes and onions, with a side of some sort of sour cream (those of you who are more knowledgable will know what it is and enlighten me I'm sure!). You get them by groups of 2, 4 or 10, and they come, yes, in a box. The hummus appetizer was pretty sizable and I wished for more pita bread. They also have dolma and a yogurt dip as apps, baklava and fruit for dessert. They've also got this ice cream sandwich concoction with homemade saffron and rosewater infused ice cream... I may have to go back to sample this.

I got the chicken and beef combo skewer meal- 6.99, and the hummus- 3.99. My coworkers got the same and we all agreed it's pretty solid, tasty, and we'd go back again for sure. For me, I couldn't finish what I was given, which is a good problem to have I reckon. I thought the chicken was more seasoned/marinated than the beef was, but YMMV. And at the 6.99 point, it's pretty comparable to the other lunch time eateries in the area.

So there you have it. I did not, for the record, ask about any similarity to the Justin Timberlake song :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am curious with this place so close by Lebanese Butcher how the styles, spices, pricing and presentation compare? I have not been to either places, but now wonder....

ETA: Forgive me if I sound ignorant and don't know what I'm talking about here...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am curious with this place so close by Lebanese Butcher how the styles, spices, pricing and presentation compare? I have not been to either places, but now wonder....

ETA: Forgive me if I sound ignorant and don't know what I'm talking about here...

I'm not exactly sure either, but MIAB only has kebab type entrees, that's it. Also, their location and visibility are (imho) better than LB and potentially less intimidating. I asked one of my coworkers if we should do a smackdown of MIAB vs LB (I have not wandered over to LB yet, I have no idea why, I just haven't) and his response was - "eh, there might be more options over there, but this place is cleaner". Do with that what you will, but the aesthetic of MIAB does seem very purposeful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ate there the other day and i am sad to say I was unimpressed. I was hoping to have another good spot in the neighborhood. The menu is very limited, and as a restaurant professional i was slightly frusterated with the set-up. I feel like a lot of good could be done with that space. Both the chicken and the beef were bland. Odds are I will try it again but mostly because it is so conveniant to me, and the service was very pleasant (free tea, and tips on how to drink it like a real persian, even though it was 90 degrees)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ate there the other day and i am sad to say I was unimpressed. I was hoping to have another good spot in the neighborhood. The menu is very limited, and as a restaurant professional i was slightly frusterated with the set-up. I feel like a lot of good could be done with that space. Both the chicken and the beef were bland. Odds are I will try it again but mostly because it is so conveniant to me, and the service was very pleasant (free tea, and tips on how to drink it like a real persian, even though it was 90 degrees)

I had "beef" in a box for lunch today, and, as you say, my first bite was bland. However I discovered a tiny tub with some sort of yogurt? sauce that seemed overspiced to be eaten by itself and two packets of hot sauce. After I drizzled hot sauce and smeared the contents of the tub on my meat, my meat wrap became very tasty, even a touch of salt would have made it oversalted.

While I was waiting for my MIAB I watched a kid (HS senior? College freshman?) make flat breads. He had a half sheet tray with 2 inch half yeast dough balls infront of him covered with plastic wrap. He would pull one out, roll it out quickly with a huge rolling pin, dock it mercilessly with a white plastic docker, throw it on a round pillow, sprinkle with water all over and holding the lower side of the pillow stick it to the vertical side of what looked like humongous ceramic? clay? cauldron, which is encased in a metal box the size of a dishwasher. He would cover the round cauldron with a square lid leaving lots of space open for the steam to escape and proceed to roll the next flat bread. After he made two or three of those he would pick up two long wire sticks, (the length of a tall man's walking stick,) pull out two flat breads and continue rolling out the next flatbread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

stick it to the vertical side of what looked like humongous ceramic? clay? cauldron, which is encased in a metal box the size of a dishwasher.

Sounds like a tandoor to me. That's certainly how I've seen naan made in a number of Indian restuarants.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like they might be branching into Moby Dick-esque specials- today was persian potato salad (with chicken) which is essentially a good chicken salad, plus creamy potatoes, and a good deal of dill. This is served with toasted slices of the persian bread, which are kind of neat.

I think they might be ironing the wrinkles out- the chicken kabob was flavorful and moist (did you get the spiced tomatoes in yours previously?) and the "two meats in a box" was a lot of food for the money, especially with the fries on the side.

It's more of a takeout deal (hence the box) but we sat outside for the hell of it and at least three passers-by hummed the timberlake "#@$% in a box" song. I don't know if that part of Falls Church is ready for an un-ironic love of MIAB, but I think they deserve your business, maybe a nice place to call ahead and pick up dinner on the way home from work.

Also, the baklava portions would choke an entire hive of bees and the ice cream sandwich is delicious but impossible to eat- two scoops of saffron ice cream between sugar wafers that channel everything to the easiest path to your shorts. Again, delicious, yet dangerous. Pack a spoon and a gun, plus napkins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the service was very pleasant (free tea, and tips on how to drink it like a real persian, even though it was 90 degrees)

I want to give some recognition to Meat in a Box because of their extremely friendly service today for lunch. Both the lady and the gentleman working (perhaps the owners) were gracious and giving - extra bread halfway through our meal, bringing me a glass of ice water when I didn't even ask, checking up on how we were enjoying the lunch, etc. Also, I thought the quality of the Halal beef in the kabobs was quite good.

Cheers,
Rocks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went back today with an Arabic speaker - without trying to pry, it came up in casual conversation that the cashier is from Gaza. Neither the chicken nor the steak was too salty today, and I can pretty much confirm that a Bowl ($8.29) is worth the $1 upcharge from a Pouch ($7.29), as you get some of their very good, long-grain rice spooned into the bottom, seemingly a little more of everything (there's more room), and also a piece of pita on the side (I"m not sure why I thought this was thin pita; it isn't at all) - I couldn't even finish half of my meal, and could probably stretch it to last the rest of the day if I wanted.

Like The Delicious, I don't want to oversell Pita Pouch - which had about fifteen more customers today at 1 PM than they did two days ago (it was empty two days ago - the word's getting out! :)), but for someone who lives in the area, it's an exciting, inexpensive, quick, healthy option.

As long as I'm pumping pillbox restaurants in Falls Church, don't forget Meat In A Box, which I'm also going to raise to Italic (it deserves to be), and rank among the top half-dozen restaurants in West Falls Church along with Pita Pouch. Meat In A Box is reliably solid, and the service is *so nice*.

Given that it's on a busy street, and that Smashburger has moved into the same strip mall, I can easily see Meat In A Box being elbowed out, and it deserves some attention - although I haven't been to this location of Smashburger, Meat In A Box is on a distinctly higher level than the Smashburger I tried in Fairfax. The next time you think "Elevation Burger," think "Meat In A Box" instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...