Shish Kebab Express is the latest Mediterranean dining option to open in Columbus in the last 12 months. Much like its predecessors Ali Baba and Lavash Cafe, Shish Kebab makes fresh, wholesome fare at reasonable prices.
Calling Shish Kebab Express a new place, however, is somewhat misleading. In actuality, Shish Kebab Express is a spin-off of Shish Kebab Mediterranean Grill on Bethel Road.
Like other Mediterranean restaurants, Shish Kebab provides numerous options for vegetarian diners. Even some of the salads and dips are vegan. My favorite characteristic of a menu (vegetarian choices marked with an asterisk) is in play at Shish Kebab.
There are many salads and traditional Middle Eastern starters like hummus, baba ganoush, stuffed grape leaves and falafel. I, however, chose to try the slightly less common sigara borek. Sigara borek is feta cheese and parsley wrapped into finger-sized phyllo tubes. It is bright, creamy and pairs well with the tomatoes on the plate that act as garnishes.
The sandwiches at Shish Kebab are also very interesting. Instead of offering stuffed pita bread as a wrapper, the falafel sandwich was prepared in a crusty sandwich roll topped with sesame and poppy seeds. The bread added another layer to the flavor profile. The taste of the sandwich is more akin to that of a veggie burger than a traditional falafel sandwich.
The only shortcoming of the sandwich is that it used a small amount of lettuce and a light coating of tahini sauce. The addition of more vegetables and tahini would have made a very good sandwich superb.
Shish Kebab Express serves a limited selection of desserts and a typical array of fountain drinks. Both delivery and catering services are available.
The interior of Shish Kebab Express is bright and modern-looking. There is seating for about 40 people inside. There are two flat screen televisions in the dining room. The staff is friendly and quick, although orders at Shish Kebab come out at a fast casual rather than fast food pace.
Overall, I have to say that I prefer Ali Baba and Lavash Cafe over Shish Kebab. The falafel sandwich at Shish Kebab should be a change of pace from those at the other two places if nothing else. I eat enough Mediterranean food that I can see myself eating at all three places in a future week.
|Shish Kebab Express|