Jasa Kabob

Featured, Pubs and Grub — February 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm by

I am by no stretch, of even my own imagination, a foodie or any kind of an authority on international or ethnic cuisine. Hell, I come from Ceciltucky, where white people are suspicious of other white people because they think they are too moderate in their conservatism.  The same place where they never forget to butter the white bread for their ham sandwich (because bologna sounds too Italian) before they put the mayo on. Frankly, I was always a little intimidated of ethnic food, until I met a Cubo/Italian charmer of the opposite gender who turned me into a vegetarian close to seven years ago. Insert “Pulp Fiction” clip of Samuel L. Jackson here.

 

When I moved back to Baltimore in the fall, because I found myself unemployed when it got too cold at the beach, my roommate kept insisting that there was this place called Jasa Kabob on The Square in Canton that I would just love. She said it was Indian or Pakistani cuisine. I’m not sure which it is technically, if either, but there is definitely a  Middle Eastern influence. I was pretty hesitant at first, envisioning nothing but skewers of meat, which are indeed available. But once I gathered up the courage to check the place out, I was greeted by a small, clean, welcoming, carry out place with a small dining area that might be able to accommodate 10 people for dining in. There is a large menu on the wall as well as a few additional specials on the daily board outside of the front door and also at the counter where you order.

 

The first section of the menu is a 13 item selection of Kabobs. These are sort of like combo meals that come in a black, three-section styrofoam container packed with food. One section will contain a small salad of iceberg lettuce, red onion, cucumber, and tomato. Another section is for your choice of side vegetable including spinach and potato, lentils, chick peas and the vegetable of the day. All are spiced just right. You’ll never want to settle for Green Giant again. You may even stop thinking I’m weird for being a vegetarian and loading these things on as my main course. The main section of the container is filled with seasoned brown rice and your choice of kabob or combo (variations of chicken, beef, and lamb as well as a grilled salmon option) or in my case the main vegetable. The meal also comes with warm naan (flatbread) and a green chutney sauce that you can use as a salad dressing and to soak up with the naan. I would encourage you to try any of these combos based on the quality of every experience I have had here.

 

Moving down the menu you’ll find you also have the option to have your kabob as a wrap, rolled up in fresh naan with lettuce, tomato, onions and the green chutney with sides of rice and chick peas. Or you can go the Beryani route and get a spicy seasoned rice dish with chicken, lamb or vegetables. This is sort of the Middle Eastern version of fried rice if I have to dumb it down, and I do, because I grew up in a town that didn’t get its first strip mall Chinese restaurant until the turn of the century. The best surprise the day I tried the Vegetable Beryani were a pair of figs that had been marinating in the dish while I carried it home. They were juicy and delicious. I opted to go with a regular amount of spice when asked my preference and I thought it was just right, but since this dish is made to order, unlike some of the vegetarian options that are prepared in large batches and used as sides for all of the orders, this is the place to add a little heat if you desire.

 

Jasa Kabob also offers a few house specials that feature meat cooked in special sauces in a karahi, sort of a round bottomed, Indian-style wok and served with rice and naan as well as some salad options topped with salmon, chicken, or beef.

 

Falafels are another mainstay on Middle Eastern menus and Jasa offers it in a wrap, on a salad, or a platter. I recommend giving the platter a try. It comes with Tabouli (a parsley and bulgar wheat salad), pickled red cabbage, Baba Ganouj, Hummus, and naan bread. This will give you a chance to try a few of the sides that Jasa Kabob offers without making a full commitment. The platter is enough for a meal, or a few people could split it as an appetizer. The Hummus and the Baba Ganouj are both excellent. And if you’re wondering what Baba Ganouj is, like I was, the best way I can put it is that it is Hummus made from eggplant instead of chick peas.

 

Some other notable things on the menu are the Samosas, a fried delicacy, which are the best I’ve had. Also keep an eye out for Vegetable Pakora on the daily specials. It will not disappoint. If you’re in the mood for desert, they have Gulab Jaman (traditionally a cheese-based dough that is fried at a low temperature and then soaked in a sugary syrup), Ras Malai (another doughy, creamy concoction that has never been served in Ceciltucky to my knowledge), Rice Pudding, and Baklava. I’ve grabbed desert or a side on a few occasions, but have always experienced some uncomfortable pressure on the ribs after eating either with a kabob combo.

 

Since overcoming my complacency and fear of the unknown and giving Jasa Kabob a shot, I would estimate that I’ve eaten there 3-5 times each week since early November. It is truly going to be the thing I miss most about Baltimore when the salt water and sands of Ocean City start to warm back up. There is no doubt I will go out of my way to come up with excuses to visit Charm City just in order to get some good Middle Eastern cuisine, because I am yet to find it on the Eastern Shore. What I need you to do in the meantime is find 3-4 friends and each eat there once a week until the brisk winter winds return next fall to help my favorite carry-out keep profits up and the curries cooking.

 

Bust A Gut (that’s Ceciltucky for “bon appetit.”)

 

 

Jasa Kabob

2917 O’Donnell St.

Baltimore, MD 21224, USA

(410) 327-7152

 

Hours

Pick Up Hours
Sunday -Wednesday 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Thursday -Sunday 11:30AM – 2:30AM

Delivery Hours
Sunday -Thursday 11:30 AM 10:00 PM
Friday -Saturday 11:30AM – 11:00PM

 

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