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 

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