Don’t Be Scared off by Kabab & Grill’s Funky Goat
I had wanted to try Kabab & Grill (on 36th btw. B’way+7th) long before I read about their funky goat stew on the blog Food and Mouth. Anytime there’s cheap Indian (or Pakistani) food being sold out of steam tables for under $10 I’m going to try it. Throw in a Latin food steam table, which is where the goat came from, and now pizza, and it becomes a pretty typical “how could I pass this up?” Midtown Lunch. I finally got a chance to sample the Indian/Pakistani food from Kebab & Grill last week, and while it may not win any “best of” awards, it’s a perfectly good (and cheap) Indian food option for that area.
What I tried is after the jump…
Like most of the steam table joints in Midtown serving this kind of food, they have a few lunch special options. $7.50 gets you one meat, one vegetable, rice and bread. Or, if you’re a vegetarian, you can spend $6.50 for two vegetable options, rice, and bread. Both come with dal poured over the rice, if you want it.
For plate #1 we tried their chicken tikka masala with a peas/eggplant vegetable dish that was really really tasty. (I was a big fan.) Their chicken was pretty standard- not too spicy, good flavor. And while the naan could have been a little bit fluffier, it was pretty fresh- so no complaints here.
The lamb saag (spinach) on plate #2 was a little better than the chicken (only because I like lamb better), and made it so I didn’t need to order saag as my side dish (my standard side order.) It’s a good thing too, because their standard spinach side dish looks more like creamed spinach than saag. The lamb wasn’t fall off the bone tender, but it was tender enough, and really flavorful. Not recommended for those who don’t like bones or spicy food (it had a real nice kick.) The okra was just ok, so the perfect plate would have been lamb + eggplant… although they won’t necessarily have those options when you go. Things get changed up pretty regularly, and sometimes they have some crazy looking stuff on the top shelf of the counter. On one visit I saw a big tandoori fish! (Looked pretty awesome.)
They also have kati rolls (doesn’t everybody these days?) Their version costs $3-4 depending on the meat, and are pretty much exact replicas of the version served at the original Kati Roll (on 39th btw. 5+6th). Paratha, with some pretty spicy marinated meat topped with raw red onions and a hint of citrus. They were pretty good, if you like that style of kati roll, although with the original Kati Roll so close I don’t know if they’re good enough to pull me away. The one good thing that is better is the line is shorter- and they have a lamb kati roll (with chunks of meat), which I don’t think the original offers.
There was a time when Kebab & Grill was pretty empty, but now that they’ve added pizza for $1.25 a slice (and are advertising it via signboard on 7th Ave.) the place can get a little packed sometimes, so beware. They have a few tables, but don’t necessarily count on there being an open when you are there. It depends on the day. As for the funky goat from the Latin food steam table? I’m going to leave that for another day.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- It’s Reliable Indian/Pakistani food
- They change things up every day, and often have things you don’t see at too many Midtown steam tables (like tandoori fish!?)
- They have Kati Roll style kati rolls, and the line is much shorter
- Not your average, watered down, Americanized Indian food
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I like my Indian food good and Americanized! (Not a big fan of spicy food)
- The kati rolls from Kati Roll are much better (and not too far away)
- I don’t like bones in my meat dishes
- The lamb wasn’t completely fall off the bone tender
- Not a ton of options
- They don’t have a two meat combo! (I don’t mind paying the extra money…)
Kabab and Grill, 150 W. 36th St. (btw. B’way+7th), 212-967-0813