The Meat of the Matter
By Allan Borgen
When it comes to healthy and delicious food, the cuisines from the Mediterranean region of the world absolutely must be considered. Fortunately for us, one of the best in the IE is Highland’s own Mr. Kebab. Sure it’s a small restaurant but it features a nice array of beef, chicken, lamb and vegetarian dishes that are all made fresh daily. Under the direction of Owner George Daoud, the food is fresh—and oh-so-delicious.
For starters I ordered the colorful and health-conscious Vegetarian Plate. This masterful collection features such delights as mutabbal (which consists of grilled eggplant slightly pureed with fresh garlic) and tahini (a popular hummus). The main portion of this plate is made up of the Tabbouli Salad, which offers fresh parsley, onions, tomatoes, bulgur wheat, lemon juice and olive oil, stuffed grape leaves and slices of fried eggplant. Few plates in the vegetarian category have such a complex mix of ingredients and even fewer Mediterranean restaurants can match the healthy, flavor-filled quality that Mr. Kebab offers.
The Vegetarian Plate was already plenty of food, however my first entrée, the popular Beef Shawerma Plate, was even “beefier.” The meat of the matter is obviously, the marinated beef. The succulent meat is marinated for 24 hours in olive oil, garlic, vinegar and a variety of spices. The beef is then placed on a spit and slowly cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Upon each order, the meats are sliced and the results are magnificent. The exterior has a nice charbroiled taste and texture while the interior of the meat is moist and juicy. Of course, you also get a small salad, rice, hummus and pita bread served with this delicious entree.
If you enjoy meat, I suggest ordering the Mixed Plate. This delicious dish features your choice of three different meats: chicken, beef kebabs as well as a kafta kebab (which is ground beef with special Middle Eastern seasonings). Each of the differing kebabs were excellent and like the Beef Shawerma Plate, also came with usual salad, hummus, rice and pita bread.
Interestingly enough, the most unique item that Mr. Kebab has to offer is something usually only found at Mexican restaurants: Fried Tilapia. Now, having the eyes on the head of a fish staring at you from a dinner plate may frighten some diners off, but once you have torn into the flesh of the crisp exterior and devoured the moist, flavorful meat of the tilapia, this dish may be your favorite the next time you see it on a menu. The tilapia was served on a large bed of rice, a small salad and some fried pita bread wedges.
For those who dare not brave the staring fish, other dishes that I recommend include the Whole Rotisserie Chicken with pita bread and a robust garlic sauce, the Chicken Shawerma Sandwich and the Kibah (a delightfully seasoned ground beef, pine nuts wrapped in a nutty-flavored bulgar wheat and deep fried).
I have eaten here many times before and have never been disappointed. The portions of fresh and flavorful foods are more than enough, and the prices are very reasonable considering the quality of food.
Mr. Kebab Mediterranean Restaurant, 27355 5th St., Highland, (909) 425-9911; www.mrkebabrestaurant.com.
Visit Allan’s new website: FeedMe411.com. Watch the Let’s Dine Out TV Show on Friday nights at 6:30pm on Ch. 24, KVCR-P.B.S. and listen to the Let’s Dine Out Radio Show Saturdays 3 to 5 pm on AM 590 KTIE. Email Allan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (909) 910-3463.