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Like the vegetarian platter, the meat combo includes salad, hummus, pita and basmati rice, plus beef and chicken shish kabobs and beef kifta kabobs. Start with an appetizer or two, the hummus (of course) and a bowl of thick red lentil soup, and this platter can easily serve two people. You might fight over the chicken, though, given how much chewing is necessary to tackle the dried-out cubes of beef. Curiously, the shish kabobs are slathered with ketchup-based barbecue sauce, a non-traditional touch that Ali explains is done because "customers love it."

Some of those customers choose to finish a meal here with cinnamon-heavy baklava, but Ali's sons (who run the counter and double as waiters) suggest the kinafeh, a pocket of sweet ricotta-stuffed filo that their mom made for them when they were growing up. Better yet is the Turkish coffee, made the traditional way, with powdered beans mixed with cardamom and boiled. Finish your small cup and you'll see a thick mud of settled black grounds lining the bottom.

Mariam Ali keeps the home fires burning at Shish Kabob Grill.
Mark Manger
Mariam Ali keeps the home fires burning at Shish Kabob Grill.

Location Info

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Shish Kabob Grill

1503 Grant St.
Denver, CO 80203

Category: Restaurant > Middle Eastern

Region: Central Denver

Details

Photos: Behind the Scenes at Shish Kabob Grill

Shish Kabob Grill
Hummus $4.99
Lentil soup $3.99
Tabbouleh $4.49
Gyros sandwich $6.99
Chicken shawerma sandwich $6.99
Falafel sandwich $5.99
Meat combo platter $15.99
Vegetarian platter $12.99
Baklava $3
Kinafeh $2.75
Turkish coffee $2.95
1503 Grant Street
303-837-8800
Hours: 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

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Despite the slew of signs on the door, Ali and her family are quite willing to accommodate customer requests. If you don't want barbecue sauce on your kabobs, they are happy to leave it off. If you want cream in that strong coffee (a traditional no-no), they are willing to comply. Even the rice is spiced rather than white, as Ali makes it at home, because "I ask my customers, 'Do you like it?'" she says, and the response is always yes. It seems those somewhat angry signs were prompted by bad behavior on the part of a few customers. But if Ali knew what a misleading first impression they give to the rest of us, she'd no doubt take them down.

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3 comments
lokii_0
lokii_0

I love this place.  I've been eating here for years and it is still the barometer by which I judge both hummus and gyros.  It does look like a divey hole in the wall sort of place from the outside, but the food kicks ass.

asnow1
asnow1

Wow, you've lost me Gretchen. The gyro sandwich at SK is one of the best gyro's I've ever had, if not one of the best sandwiches in Denver period. The thick cut meat is what makes the sandwich!!!  And how dismissive you were with the greens at Sassafras has me very doubtful of my trust in your culinary judgement.

Sarah Elizabeth Korus
Sarah Elizabeth Korus

I lived down the block from this place for two years and just realized I've never tried this place! Great review!

 
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