When I lived in Chicago, I became obsessed with Middle Eastern food. Petite, family-run eateries speckled many of the city’s streets (including one dangerously close to the “L” station I used). It was so easy to pop in and grab a falafel sandwich or kefta plate to go that it became a near-daily event.

My quest to replicate that experience led me to the long-standing Shish Kabob Grill in Capitol Hill. My partner and I—both devoted falafel enthusiasts—ordered a plate of the garbanzo bean fritters to start. The crispy exterior disguised a smooth, seasoned core. The four good-size rounds were anchored by a light tahini sauce—a welcome change from the more customary tzatziki. We seriously contemplated ordering another round before moving on to the gyro and the kebabs.

The sandwich’s tender and flavorful lamb and beef arrived thickly cut and sans grease. Tender beef kebabs were made colorful by bell peppers and onions sporting a near-perfect char. The kebabs included lemony hummus and warm pita, which easily could have filled us up if we hadn’t been cautious.

We ordered the baklava for the finale. Paper-thin panes of phyllo dough spiked with cinnamon offset a nutty accoutrement of walnuts and pistachios. Licking sugary syrup from our fingers, we paid the bill. We left thinking about the ample leftovers we would be eating for the meal’s sequel—and vowing to return. Maybe even daily. 1503 Grant St., 303-837-8800


Falafel $4.49
Gyro Sandwich $6.99
Beef Shish Kebab $12.99
Baklava $5