Perhaps not the most auspicious name and maybe not in the most auspicious culinary area, but Kabob Korner has pedigree because its owner is the man behind Kabul, an amazing Afghan restaurant that graced the Indy landscape for 18 years. In short, make a bee-line for this place as soon as possible.
The atmosphere is very casual. You walk up to the counter and read the menu behind it. You pay, pour your own water and grab your utensils, find a seat and the delicious food will be brought out to you. There are only paper plates and bowls here but we are so happy that the people behind Kabul are back that they can serve their great food to us on anything they want.
We started with the soup, Aush. You will be doing your taste buds a great disservice if you don't regularly give them this soup throughout the upcoming fall and winter. It's a dark broth filled with vegetables, beans, ground beef, and noodles topped with a yogurt sauce. Basically, happiness in a bowl.
Then, passing on the kabobs at Kabob Korner, we ordered the Vegetarian Special and the Manto. You definitely don't have to be a meat lover to eat here. The Vegetarian Special was a plate with a big mound of Basmati rice in the center with scoops of lentils, eggplant, and spinach around it. Oh my! The lentils were good but the eggplant and spinach were real standouts. You will want to order those as sides if you order another entree. We don't know what spices are added to the spinach but, if our Moms knew how to make it like that when we were young, they would have had no problems getting us to eat it. The eggplant is so tender and in a tomato sauce and just pretty much bliss on a plate.
We also tried the Manto which is a dumpling filled with seasoned ground beef and sauteed onions topped artfully with yogurt sauce. These dumplings were light and delicate. Despite the heavy sounding "ground beef and onion" description, they were light and tasty, seasoned perfectly, and the dumplings are sized so you have to make the "do I cut it, or just pop it in my mouth" decision (we did both). The Manto also comes with Basmati rice.
Please, please patronize this gem of a restaurant. To find it, just turn into the Castleton Mall entrance by Long John Silver's. Take a right turn past Long John Silver's and it is in the little strip mall right there, directly across from the AMC theatres. They are open 11AM-2PM for lunch Mon-Fri, from 5PM-9PM for dinner Mon-Fri, and 11AM-9PM on Saturdays. We got there right at opening on a Friday night and only saw one other couple. This restaurant deserves to be full during all operating hours.
As always, click the pictures for larger images.