Friday, March 8, 2013


4201 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 386-8081

If you like Middle Eastern food, you can do a lot worse than ending up in West Philly. I wanted to try Kabobeesh, but it is one of those places I would see, think about, and then forget to make time to visit. I finally closed that loop, and made it over to see what this diner-turned-ethnic grill had to offer.

This place is popular with taxi drivers, for both eating, and socializing. Don't be surprised if you see them sitting at a table, shooting the breeze, and watching the news for the duration of your visit.

The ordering process is broken into two components. You can order from the hot buffet, or go with a grilled to order protein out of the side cooler. Made to order meats are accompanied by your choice of 2 vegetable sides. Not a bad way to go.

See below for some of the meat choices.

I decided to try a Resham beef platter, with chickpeas and mixed veggies (at the owner's suggestion) on the side. The bread is fantastic, hot, cooked to order, and a perfect vessel for breaking off morsels of meat or sopping up flavorful sides.

The beef, while still being slightly chewy, was bursting with flavor, and housed the perfect amount of char on the outside, making it an authentic meat-on-a-stick delight.

The chickpeas were perfectly rich and flavored with a variety of spices that blended well, with a bit of a kick. I could eat these all day.

The mixed vegetables were also delicious, with a similar spice laden kick.

This naan was so addictive. I ripped it apart like a civilized savage, piece by piece, with each torn fragment being engulfed in the flavorful dipping components.

I could not skip the chicken kebob roll, as my favorite thing in the world is anything in sandwich form. This was my favorite part of the meal. The spicy green cilantro sauce on the side was fantastic. The plastic container it came in was licked clean.

The chicken was flavored tandoori style, and came with a variety of ingredients, including various chopped veggies all wrapped in a char-grilled naan/pita.

This is what a wrap should look like. Chunks of tender, well seasoned, slightly charred chicken surrounded with, but not overwhelmed by, a cast of supporting stars. Green sauce, nice bread, smoky grilled flavor, perfection.

This place was originally an old diner, probably some mediocre, drab American place. Anyone have any idea what it was called?

Also, the owner alone is worth the trip. He is an enthusiastic, good natured, and funny guy. He had no problem posing for a picture.

Bottom line, you will be hard pressed to find a better wrap in the city. Don't shy away from the platters, and experiment with some of the different combos. They also have daily specials in the hot bar, so feel free to order on a whim.


Anonymous said...

It's always been called Kabobeesh. But it used to look like this,

Anonymous said...

What are the prices like?

Anonymous said...

The diner used to the American or "Great American" diner. I chuckled a bit to read "drab *American* place, wonder what it was called..."

Jamie S. said...

Did not realize you just went there! Me too! We got very different orders

Anonymous said...

prices are very affordable, a whole plater cost around 11$ and student get a free drink also.over all this is one of the best BBQ places in philly.The best thing, they have their own parking,,,, what else you need in the city.

geemtriste said...

Ugh... I'm dating myself, but it was called the American Diner back in the mid 1990s when I . Yes, it was as dirty a diner as you would think it is :)