What happened??!! Ravi Kabob, Arlington’s kabob powerhouse for as long as I’ve lived here, was one of the surest things in the area. There are the two locations, on opposite sides of Glebe Road. Recently I had the chance to take some take away from the original location. Considering that this was Ramadan – the expectation were high – and the place was certainly bustling. Customarily I don’t look at them not having any Chapli Kabob as a red flag – they don’t seem to carry too many of them around. However, this time was different.
After the Chapli disappointment, I ordered the lamb kabob – basic blocking and tackling for these sorts of deals. To go with the typical accoutrements, I got a samosa and a salt lassi. The lamb was good. The meat was well cooked and seasoned, and paired nicely with the traditional yogurt sauce. And that is the extent of the good things I can say. It is weird to rant and rave about a restaurant’s terribleness when the meat was actually done well, but it feels like Ravi Kabob was content with just satisfactorily checking the box. The samosa was kept at much too low a temperature. Combined with the lack of seasoning, it might have very well been the worst samosa ever made. The chickpeas in gravy (I’d call it masala, I don’t know what you’d call it) also seemed to cleverly lack seasoning of any sort. It just provided some texture with the rice and meat, but it brought nothing to the table otherwise. It was unusually bad. The salt lassi fortunately was decent.
In some ways, the review might be unnecessarily harsh. But I have very high expectations here, and Ravi Kabob has usually delivered. Sadly, this time was a crazy misfire – bad enough that one wonders if there is a deeper underlying flaw.