Clearly, any place called Shish Kabob Grill is going to specialize in grilled meats -- and Shish Kabob does those very well. But if you're looking for a plate of falafel, hummus and baba ghanouj near the Capitol, sans meat, this is the spot for you. We named it Best Middle Eastern Restaurant in 2011, and it lives up to that title, with fare that's suitable for both plant-based eaters and carnivores.
If you want the place to yourself, stop by on a weekend: Weekday lunches are packed, but on a Sunday during lunch, you'll have your pick of tables. For prime people-watching on Colfax, grab a spot by the large front windows. Some of those people are coming in for takeout, and every time someone opens the door, it lets in sounds from the streets to supplement the music piping over the loudspeaker.
The food will overcome any distractions once it arrives at the table, though. The vegetarian plate (pictured above) includes the silky-smooth hummus, baba ghanouj, a heaping helping of rice, a garden salad, falafel, a dolmade, a cheese-and-spinach pie, and a green-bean side dish that's stewed up with tomatoes and spices and served cold. The plate comes with pita bread and tahini, and it's a feast of epic proportions. (Vegans can order a falafel plate for many of the same items without any animal-based additions.) The baba ghanouj and hummus are standout, tart with lemon juice and beautifully blended.
The falafel -- perfectly golden-brown and crispy on the outside -- makes for a perfect appetizer to split. Served with hummus, it's a fabulous start (or supplement) to a meal that will leave your stomach groaning...but you won't regret indulging.
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Shish Kabob Grill is open daily for lunch and dinner; call 303-837-8800 or visit shishkabobgrill.com.