Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Lebanese Please!

As the rain plummeted, wreaking havoc on our shared umbrella, my friend and I sloshed to Kababji Grill. We arrived at the empty restaurant and wrung out our shirts in the restroom sink.

But rain or shine, Kababji never fails to whet our appetites.

Kababji is an international franchise with its flagship in Beirut, with other establishments throughout Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan. The first location outside of the Middle East, Kababji Grill in Dupont Circle has made authentic and healthy Lebanese cuisine more accessible than ever.

The main attraction is the open cooking area, equipped with an immaculate semicircle display case of raw kabobs, a Lebanese imported charcoal grill with a roasting spit and a prominent cone-shaped brick vent that rises to the ceiling. In the dining room, dimly lit walls made of Jerusalem stone bricks and a handsome wall-mounted wine display case give a traditional, yet upscale vibe.

As for the food, forget all your preconceptions about kebab. At Kababji, you won’t be served oversized chicken bricks with the same texture as the skewer. The Kebbeh Meshwiyeh Kabab ($18), seasoned lean ground beef with roasted pine nuts, pistachios and cracked wheat, molded around a skewer and grilled over charcoal, is browned on the outside and tender-pink on the inside. Most kabobs are slid off the skewer onto a plate and served with sides.

The sides are unimpressive alone. The grilled onions still have their raw bite, the eggplant is dry and trite, the rice is bland and the Lebanese bread leaves something to be desired. But, combining these elements results in Lebanese magic.

The onions made for delectable makeshift tools when scooping up rice, which I livened up with a bit of lemon juice. I created perfect bites by sandwiching pieces of meat in bits of pita and dipping them into the special sauce, which is the hidden gem of the Kababji experience.

The ivory colored condiment is rich-creamy-tangy-luscious-simple-flavorful-makes-everything-taste-better goodness. When I asked the waitress what was in it, expecting to hear something like unicorn tears, honeysuckle extract and condensed Hawaiian clouds, I was surprised by her response. It is simply olive oil and garlic whipped vigorously until emulsified.

Kababji offers the classics like hummus, baba ghanoush and tabouleh ($6.50) and labneh, a strained yogurt spread ($6). Be sure to save room for the meat options as well. The Signature Grill Platter ($42) is perfect for sharing. It consists of kebabs of succulent beef tenderloin, marinated chicken cubes, ground beef, ground lamb and vegetables.

By the end of my meal, I was close to waving my white linen napkin in surrender and had no room for dessert. However, I do plan to try the baklava next time. Do not let the prices prevent you from becoming a regular; Kababji takes GWorld, frequently offers discounts and participates in Groupon deals.

For those who would prefer to eat mass quantities of meat without having to go to Dupont Circle, Kababji brings Lebanon to your door with delivery service.

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