Moby Dick House of Kabob

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.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.