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Feast on this: Enjoy the falafel platter, with a choice of side and small salad at Kabab City.
FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Kabab City moved from its Stafford County location this past summer and reopened in the Shops in Lee's Hill near Germanna Community College.
Mo Sultany, one of the owners, general manager and marketing coordinator, told us that he hopes the family restaurant with its entertainment will appeal to students. He is a graduate of Germanna and loves the Fredericksburg area, where he has lived for many years.
Born in Afghanistan, Sultany and his family moved to the States when he was young, and he shares family recipes, especially his mother's, through the restaurant's offerings.
His brother-in-law Musa Amin is the chef, and another brother-in-law's oil paintings decorate the walls. Both men greet customers and explain the dishes. Sultany, a vocalist, explains what the lounge offers in the way of entertainment--poetry slams and live music, DJ party nights and the hookah.
My Dining Partner and I arrived at the restaurant on a weekday after the dinner hour.
Kabab City, like many ethnic family restaurants is open late. Our server, Jenks, enthusiastically guided us to her favorite dishes, including an Afghan appetizer called mantu ($4.50). It is similar to potstickers--steamed dumplings, or paper-thin envelopes filled with ground beef, sauteed onions, herbs and spices, served with tzatziki sauce and olive oil. I was not familiar with this dish, but would order it again. We also ordered dolma ($4.50). The four chilled grape leaves were stuffed with rice, parsley and onions, and were served with the family's homemade yogurt sauce. They had good flavor and didn't last long on the plate.
Jenks suggested that we share the Sultany ($24.95) for our entree, described on the menu as "a kabab feast for two" so we did. Although it didn't include lamb or shrimp, there were ample other kabab samples to try: light and dark chicken meat, beef, kubideh and chaplee. The two latter items are both based on ground beef, with the chaplee made with jalapeño peppers and potatoes. The kabab pieces were served over a bed of nicely seasoned basmati with pita bread and a choice of sides. MDP selected red beans with curry sauce and I, the spinach. The entree also came with two salads. I selected the Coban, described as a Turkish shepherd salad of chopped cucumbers, onions and green peppers in a very mild dressing. MDP ordered the Greek salad, which contained green olives, feta cheese and a mild Italian-like dressing. The salads were fresh, but as with the sides, they were surprisingly bland.
Because of the late hour, the baklava was sold out and homemade rice pudding was also unavailable.
There's much enthusiasm by all involved with Kabob City. Hopefully this will bode well for the restaurant in its the new location.
Linda Salisbury is the author of the Bailey Fish books, an award-winning adventure series for kids.
Children's menu: $4.25-$4.95
Wine and beerThe Scoop: Clean, family friendly restaurant with good service. Vegetarian dishes available. Lots of parking. Thursday, Friday and Saturday night entertainment. Payment: Major credit cards accepted.