>> [CLOSED] Kababgi Grill | Eat the World NYC

21 July 2017

[CLOSED] Kababgi Grill



The southeast corner of 77th Street and 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge has changed quite a few hands and names over the last couple years. When it originally went on the to-do list, it was named Adana Mayla, then became Beit Sitte, then finally Marouch. All three Turkish places did not survive, and now Lebanese-owned Kababgi Grill has arrived.

The first visit here came during the final days of Ramadan and the place was full of smoke as they prepared a large catering order for someone at sundown. An industrial-sized fan was trying to clear the air and heat, but to no avail. Luckily they had a couple tables set up outside and the weather was cooperating.

The menu here reads slightly more interesting than the generic "middle eastern" list usually found around town, with a couple items even specifically Lebanese.

Even though listed in sandwiches, the chicken shawarma plate ($12.50, above) comes with rice and salad instead. It was noticed on this Ramadan daytime visit that the shawarma spit looked dry and lifeless, but somehow it still could not be resisted. Unfortunately it proved to be the case, but on another visit after the month of fasting, the restaurant seemed to find their groove. On both occasions the side of garlic sauce called toum was relied on heavily.

When asking about their Lebanese makanik, a sausage appetizer ground with pomegranate molasses and lemon juice, the conversation was steered towards soujok ($8.50, below) instead. This spicier sibling of makanik is made with bell peppers, onions, chilis, and tomato remoulade and comes out quite spicy.

For chicken lovers, the shish tawook sandwich ($8.50, below) is a slightly tastier version than the shawarma. The fresh pitas here are wonderful carriers of any kebabs, and stuffed with fresh pickled vegetables and more garlic sauce.

Because I ordered ayran on each visit, the proprietor asked if I was Turkish. "We are from Lebanon" came the reply as the pride in his country and food was visible on his face.

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