Name: Tony Andre
Lives In: Miami Beach
Restaurant Pick: Kabobji
Kabobji is a great Lebanese restaurant. When you walk in you are invited to a clean large space with a pita oven in the back and exotic Middle Eastern music playing. The restaurant is located in a strip mall on 163rd street just west of the Intracoastal Mall. There is plenty of parking. The wait staff is very attentive and friendly. I like the fact that they know all the food and have opinions on what their preferences are. We started our meal off with our favorite dish, the Kibbee Nayee. Kibbee Nayee is a Lebanese delicacy consisting of raw beef mixed with bulgur wheat and spices…the Lebanese Steak Tartar. It’s so amazingly fresh and flavorful at Kabobji. I’ve only ever had this dish at Kabobji, so I may not have the best basis for comparison but it compares favorably to any steak tartar I’ve ever had. The Kibbee is served with raw slices onion, pickled radishes, yogurt, and tomato as garnish. I like to take half of one of their amazing fresh-baked pitas and slather the Kibbee on there, put a little of olive oil on there, the pickles, the onion and the tomato (with a little salt on the tomato) and go to town! It’s kind of like a Lebanese pizza. It’s really the best dish at Kabobji. We also got an order of their fresh made hummus. It’s really good hummus that’s kind of bright and you can taste the tahini and lemon. It goes great with the fresh pita that is constantly being cranked out in the back of the dining room.
For entrees, I had the Lamb Ghallaba, a dish I had never had before. It was essentially a Lebanese version of Chinese pepper steak. The dish consisted of juicy pieces of lamb sautéed with onions and red and yellow peppers. It was really tasty and served with a rice pilaf and a fresh side salad (which is topped with pita croutons). My wife had the Mixed Shawarma plate. It consisted of strips of grilled chicken and beef Shawarma served with rice and salad. My mother in law had the Lamb Kafta Kabob Wrap. All the entrees were delicious and the portions were massive. Despite being stuffed, we powered through dessert and ordered the rice pudding. It was amazing. The rice pudding was very creamy and not too sweet and dusted with cinnamon. I finished my meal with a Turkish coffee. We ordered some of their amazingly buttery Pistachio Baklava, but we had to take that home and eat it later. It’s fresh made and very delicious. I have been coming to Kabobji for years and it consistently offers fresh flavorful food at good prices and large portions. It’s a great neighborhood hangout.
Name: Evi Kalus
Occupation: Land Planner
Lives In: Wilton Manors
Restaurant Pick: Old Heidelberg
We arrived at 7:15 pm and we were seated immediately. We got a parking space right out front. I ordered a glass of cab and my friend had green tea with mint. We ordered two appetizers to share: the Hummus was a very creamy hummus where you really could taste the sesame seed paste different than the Greek version which has more garlic flavor. We also ordered Sujuk which is a dry Middle Eastern sausage with pomegranate syrup; the sausage reminded us of Spanish chorizo. I also ordered a Cucumber Yogurt Salad. Pretty good, you could really taste the mint and lemon. I ate the sausage with the cucumber salad on the pita. Yum. For an entrée, I ordered Kafta Kabob which was like a long lamb meatball wrapped in a pita with lettuce, tomato, and hummus. I ate it with cucumber salad. They served it with a homemade hot sauce. Wow was it hot. It was made with habaneros, very, very hot. It was great, very large portion. You could get fries or almond rice with it. The rice was very flavorful and light tasting.
My friend ordered the Filet Mignon on a Skewer with Roasted Vegetables. Huge portion and lots of veggies sitting on a bed of the almond rice. She really liked it. I tasted it. I thought the filet could have been a little more rare. It was served with a garlic sauce. Really tasty, smooth, creamy, and very strong garlic flavor. We asked the waitress what she recommended for dessert and we went with the Knafe. It was a semolina cake soaked in honey sitting on melted cheese. Very yummy. Different, but very good. I highly recommend the restaurant, eating in or out. I saw that there was a lot of take out while we were there. Couples young and old, families, and friends were in the dining area. It seemed it is a well-liked place in the community. When the waitress packed up the leftovers she gave us extra pita and sauce. Gina was fabulous. We left at around 9PM. The bill with two glasses of wine and tip was about $100.
Name: Gina Jeffries
Occupation: Business Owner
Lives In: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Whisk
My husband and I went to the last stop on my Check, Please! South Florida’s culinary adventure on an impromptu date night. We pulled up to Kabobji hoping for excellent food and service and were not disappointed on either front. As soon as we walked in we were greeted and seated and we met our server. Phil was friendly and seemed genuinely excited we were there, especially after we told him it was our first time in the restaurant. His face lit up like a Christmas tree as he boisterously told us about some of the menu’s greatest hits.
We started with warm pita and Phil brought us Zatar, a dipping sauce for the pita that was a combination of olive oil, oregano, cumin, and sesame seeds. The dip was delicious, but my mouth was full of the real reason I would ever consider going back to Kabobji, which was the pita. Oh, the pita. It was a doughy pillow carefully overseen by the vigilant watch of the man I will call “pita guy”. Pita guy’s sole responsibility, I realized, was to keep careful watch over the pitas, lovingly taking them from the racks- where they rose to their exceptional hollow heights- to the ovens and then to the baskets waiting to be graced by their pita-y perfection. I have respect for pita guy and the care with which he addressed the pitas under his watchful eye. It was as if every pita mattered, a mantra usually reserved for after school specials.
I didn’t think the pita could be any better than it already was, and then the Mezza was brought to us. Once dressed in Baba Ghanoush, Hummus, and Tabouleh, the pita was elevated once more. I went from adoring its very existence and the process of its creation to adoring its functionality; it was the vehicle to move all these delicious flavors and combination of flavors from the plate to my mouth. The Tabouleh nestled in the smoky Baba Ghanoush and resting in the crook of the pita was the best bite of the evening. The Lamb Chops, beautifully butchered French style so the long bones are exposed, were tender and had a nice char as though they’d just come off the grill to rest on the bed of rice awaiting them on my plate. They were moist also, and the lamb juice erupted on my palate as I bit into them.
My only disappointment at Kabobji was that the portions were so large- had they not been I could have ordered more and continued to eat all those bold, enjoyable flavors. Every dish was well balanced and an excellent representation of the cuisine and the ingredients used in the dish. We enjoyed our experience at Kabobji. The restaurant is relaxed, open, and feels larger than it is which makes the environment comfortable. The food was delicious; a high standard of Lebanese cuisine. Everything was exceptional.
Location: 3055 NE 163rd St, North Miami Bch
Parking: Free parking lot
Phone: (305) 354-8484
Restaurant Owners: Ali Kanaan
Executive Chef: N/A
Pastry Chef: N/A
Type of Cuisine: Middle Eastern/Lebanese
Signature Dishes: Chicken Shawarma
Vegetarian Options: yes
Alcohol Served: Beer & Wine
Corkage Fee: $10.00 per bottle
Bottle Limit: no
Monday – 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Tuesday – 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Wednesday – 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Thursday – 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Friday – 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Saturday – 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Sunday – 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Meals Served: Lunch and Dinner
Prix Fix Menu: N/A
Average Dinner Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, 18% gratuity, w/o alcohol): $25
Average Lunch Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, 18% gratuity, w/o alcohol): $15
Payment Options: do you accept credit cards and if so, which ones? All major credit cards
Accept Reservations: Yes
Need Reservations: No
How far in advance do you require reservations be made: N/A
Accommodations for Children: high chairs available
Dining Style: Casual
Disabled Access: Yes
Restaurant Size: 75 Seats
Accommodate Groups: Yes
Private Dining Room: No
Tables with Scenic Views: No
Outdoor Dining: Yes