Cheap Eats 2011: Kabob n Karahi

It comes on like a fast-food joint–bright light, counter service, plastic plates–but it takes just one bite to see that this kebab house in Silver Spring’s Cloverly neighborhood serves slow food at its purest, the kind that scorns short cuts and lets flavors develop in their own sweet time.

Consider the superlative lamb chops, marinated in a paste of ginger, chili flakes, and garlic, set over a charcoal flame until the surface darkens, then sprinkled with sumac. You also get a puffy round of naan–kneaded and treated to the tandoor as soon as you order–along with fluffy rice and such sides as the marvelous chickpea stew called lahori chole.

Kebabs are excellent–go for the minced beef or bone-in chicken–but to make your visit only about the meats is to miss the chance to be transported by the chaat samosa, a sort of Pakistani panzanella, or the haleem, a chicken-lentil stew served on weekends.

Also good: Mughaz (lamb brain) karahi; chicken seekh kebab (minced spiced chicken).

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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