Looking for a unique bite out? Tired of the same old, same old? The House of Kabab may be just be the solution! It is a casual, local eatery that is a change of pace from the norm, and a true Food Adventure. This mom and pop establishment is owned by a Lebanese family who has brought their menu of Mediterranean food to the Miami Valley. Located at 298 N. Main St. in Centerville, this restaurant has a menu with some personality. Also a great place to eat healthy, House of Kabab even has a decent selection of vegetarian options. There are many exotic choices, but don’t fear! The staff is very accommodating when explaining the menu and house specialties. Their recommendations are very helpful.
Through our various visits to House of Kabab, we have some “must eats” of our own. We have always enjoyed the Hoummos (as they spell it on the menu). Many of your are familiar with this popular appetizer paste made from chickpeas, lemon juice, herbs and olive oil. Served with pita triangles, it is the perfect taste bud awakening for the fresh meal to come. House of Kabab also serves Baba-Ghanoush, which is more than the nickname used in the movie “Wedding Crashers.” Baba-Ganoush is a puree of eggplant, garlic, and lemon juice and we would say an acquired taste. It is topped with olive oil and fresh herbs. Served cold, the flavor is bold with a slightly bitter finish. Try this if you are a true Food Adventurer.
Two more items that are fantastic choices at House of Kabab are the Lamb Shwarma and Chicken Shwarma. These are pita roll sandwiches stuffed with grilled meats. Think of them as Lebanese burritos. These tasty treats are also filled with lettuce, parsley, tomatoes, onion and creamy sauces. The Big Ragu will go on record saying the Chicken Shwarma is his favorite menu item at House of Kabab.
One of the healthy, fresh and terrific side dishes at House of Kabab is the Tabbouleh. This salad is made with finely chopped parsley, onions, and tomatoes. The mixture is combined with olive oil and mint. It is an explosion of flavor in your mouth and each bite releases a hint of lemon juice. Hungry Jax would recommend this as her favorite menu item. We really enjoyed this choice.
Looking for a vegetarian meal? Food Adventures would recommend the Falafel, served as a sandwich or a dinner. As some foodies know, falafel is a hush puppy like ball made from a mixture of chick peas and fava beans. Whether you order it as a sandwich, or as a dinner, the falafel is topped with an amazing creamy, garlic sauce.
One of the hidden gems on the menu is the Tilapia Dinner. This was a “special of the day” on a couple of our visits, so we took advantage. This dinner features filets of baked tilapia in creamy garlic sauce and each morsel is absolutely delicious. This dish is served with white, long grain rice sprinkled with aromatic Lebanese spices. Is your mouth watering yet? Do not forget about three dishes that are name sakes of the house. They are the Shisk Taouk, Lamb Meshwie and Beef Kafta. These dinners are served as skewers of meat and vegetables, or as we in Ohio call them, shish kabobs. The slightly differently named Shisk Taouk is the chicken skewer and the Lamb Meshwie is, of course, the lamb option. The skewered tubes of beef are called Kafta. You know you can’t go wrong eating skewers of meat and vegetable in a place called House of Kabab. Another menu highlight is the “Tastes of the Mediterranean Dinner for Two.” This meal is under $22 and features a tour of the menu, including shwarma, lamb meshwie, taouk, makanek (sausages), sojouk (spicy sausage), and kafta.
The restaurant also offers a dessert menu with some traditional American cake, mousse and cheesecake choices. The friendly server will present a dessert tray after your meal, so you can see the desserts up close. Looking for something a little different for dessert? Try the Black Forest Gateau. It is a chocolate cake filled with pineapple mousse. When is the last time you had some pineapple mousse? Topped with chocolate whip cream, the Black Forest Gateau tastes great, and is good for sharing.
As Food Adventurers, our niche has always been checking out those unique, family owned places. House of Kabab is another perfect fit. It is affordable, fresh and not your everyday, run of the mill menu. Give this quaint Centerville restaurant a try when you are in the mood for something new or different. Ask yourself, “What about Kabab?” Explore what the Mediterranean and Lebanese menu has to offer. It is more than just a cultural experience, it is simply good food !
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