I moved to the HoCo from the land of pierogies and Lake Erie perch. I can tell you where to get either if you ever visit Cleveland, where where the food variety gravitates round American classics and Eastern European dishes. But, after so many positive reviews of the kabob eateries around here, I had to try. It took a little guts, but finally, I took an initial gamble on Maiwand Kabob in Columbia a few months ago.
Honestly, for me, it was love at first bite of naan. Where has that fluffy and slightly sweet style of flatbread been all my life? My enthusiasm was not entirely matched by my boyfriend. I'm a big fan of gyros, and I think anyone that's eaten those will like the local kabobs. But the BF was not convinced in full. He's kind of a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy in most cases.
I left full and happy (with his naan in a napkin in my purse), but he left a bit disenchanted by his chicken tikka which was flavored well, but has bones. The green sauce holds no appeal to him (more for me, right?), and in the end I don't think he really "got" it. I'd still recommend Maiwand, and I will probably take my mom there when she visits or stop there if I'm eating alone because the location is so convenient. But that left me in quandry when I wanted kabobs and the boyfriend at the same table because I'm not the type of partner that is prone to torture her subject.
Enter Mimi's Kabobs in Clarksville, which offers your Afghan kabobs and menu, but also more traditional American food like cheeseburgers, wings, and pizza. Some people find this takes away from a place, but, for me, it seemed like the best kind of compromise ever. On our arrival, Mimi's looked like a cozy place, maybe a little older than Maiwand but decorated with a feel that was less sterile - woven textiles on benches and comfy cushioned chairs that could have been thrifted. The girl from the Time magazine greets you at the door, while pictures serve as the menu like a Chinese food place. A TV towards the front ran the news while we waited for our food - chicken kabobs for myself and a cheeseburger for my boyfriend. And as a treat, some rice pudding.
My chicken kabob was delicious, the naan perfect with crisp little bubbles and chicken that seemed a bit more spicy than Maiwand's version. My boyfriend's cheeseburger was excellent, which was no surprise to me since I assume they simply take kofta and transform the shape. After just the burger, he said that he would be glad to eat there again. I was also pretty pleased with the prices and the portion sizes.
But then I cracked open the rice pudding. I can just say it was amazing. It seemed definitely homemade, and one of their dishes was enough for two people after a meal there. Creamy with tender rice, and lots of cinnamon and probably other spices. It was the perfect end to our meal. And, if my boyfriend had any ounce of needing to be convinced that he liked kofta-style cheeseburgers, that was the trick.
Next I'll try Turkshish Kebab or Parsa Kabob. Who would have thought I would have craved kabobs like I used to crave, say, Italian, Chinese or Mexican food?Trolling on Tuesday is my attempt at a series where readers would share three (or just two today!) things with other HowChow readers -- favorite restaurant dishes, food to buy, food experiences, etc. Click here for all the Trolling posts. Click here for the explanation and the rules. Anyone can submit.