June 2006 Cheap Eats
The rice and bread alone are enough to keep you coming back to these small, fluorescent-lit operations, part of a local chain now almost two decades old.
The oblong, blistered pita are baked continuously--and it's worth waiting for a fresh one. Add a salad of onion, parsley, feta, and olives and a container of creamy, garlicky hummus and you have a satisfying light meal.
Rice is perfectly cooked, fluffy and butter-topped, each grain distinct; a few shakes of sumac, the brick-red herb, lends a peppery complexity.
The kebabs may not reach the savory heights of the area's very best, but they're impressive for their consistency. The standouts are the kubideh, well-seasoned minced ground beef fashioned around a skewer and set on the grill, and the swordfish, thick chunks of juicy, lightly charred sea steak. The kubideh can be had in a sandwich, but the kebab soaks the pita, dampening its pleasures. The better option is to order a platter, which comes with rice, and a round of bread on the side to be appreciated for itself. Nine area locations. Open daily for lunch and dinner.