Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review: Kabobz Mediterranean Restaurant

I'm reviewing this place because I want to make sure that it stays open! Kabobz Mediterranean Restaurant has two locations in Palm Desert:
72695 Hwy 111, #A6
77932 Country Club Drive, Suite 2-4
I visited the latter location during lunchtime, while teaching my Colorful Tribal Necklace workshop at Monica's Quilt & Bead Creations. Since I love Mediterranean food (Greek, Lebanese, Turkish, etc.) and the restaurant was within an easy walk to Monica's store, I couldn't resist treating myself to a somewhat pricey meal.
I ordered the Kabob Skewer and Saffron Rice dish with chicken pictured above ($11.99), which included five large, juicy (but not at all greasy) pieces of breast meat that had been seasoned in spices first, then skewered with chunks of yellow onion and bell peppers before it was grilled to perfection. The rice was perfect, too: fluffy, dry (not sticky), and lightly flavored with saffron. I also enjoyed the fire-roasted grilled tomato, and the side dish of tzatziki, a Greek cucumber yogurt dip.
This dish looks huge and it was, but believe it or not I found it in the "lighter bites" section of the menu! A full version of this dish includes an additional side salad, bringing the meal up to $13.99. I consider that rather steep for lunch, but as I had skipped breakfast I was willing to treat myself.
One thing that concerned me was that the restaurant was completely empty except for myself, and I was lunching there on a Saturday at 12 noon. The location is ideal, inside a busy, well established shopping center with lots of folks out buying quilt fabrics at Monica's store, visiting Gold's Gym nearby, buying groceries, etc. So seeing this restaurant empty gave me pause. I need not have worried, though, because my dish was yummy!
Kabobz serves a variety of grilled kabobs, including chicken, beef, ground beef, lamb, shrimp, gyro meat, stuffed bell pepper, and shawarma chicken or beef. They offer traditional appetizers like falafels, baba ganouge, dolmades, hummus and pita, and various side dishes I would like to try such as grilled veggies and lentil soup.
Hearty eaters will enjoy the "fresh off the grill" portion of the menu with various kabobs plus rice and salad, or the shawarma and gyro platters. Mediterranean style salads such as Greek, garbanzo, tabouli, fattoosh, and Mediterranean chicken salad are perfect for summer dining. Vegetarian specialties include baba ganouge fire-roasted eggplant with garlic, tahini and onions, stuffed bell peppers, a falafel plate, and the veggie delight: spicy grilled vegetables and potatoes, with rice or pita.
Prices are somewhat high, ranging from about $9 to $15 for lunch. But there are ways around that: Order a wrap (gyro, chicken, shrimp, etc.) for a meal under $10, or select two or three items from the home-style sides menu to create an inexpensive meal. Kabobz also offers traditional desserts like baklava and Mediterranean ice cream.
If you're in the area, I highly recommend giving this restaurant a try. Your meal will be large but healthy, and if you enjoy traditional Mediterranean foods, you won't be disappointed.
Happy eating,

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