Cheap Eats 2008: Ravi Kabob

Why go: Northern Virginia is chockablock with kebab shops, many of them good. But these tiny Pakistani cafes, across the street from each other in Arlington, are in a class by themselves. The meats, displayed on long metal skewers in a lighted case, are as succulent as you can get without paying for a prime, properly cooked steak.

What to get: Bone-in chicken and kubideh kabob; the aromatic chickpea stew chana masala; karahi, a head-clearing curry laced with ginger, garlic, and cilantro that—served in a small, hammered wok—feeds two (our picks: the lamb and the lamb brains); tart mango lassi, the yogurt drink that beats the heat and aids digestion.

Best for: A takeout dinner that doesn’t taste like fast food; a quick excursion for spice lovers.

Insider tip: The kebabs hold up surprisingly well as leftovers if you wrap them in foil and heat them slowly.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants 

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.