Last week I was with a few friends in Denver, Colorado and I was introduced to a little gem of a restaurant that one of them has been going to for years. Admittedly, I probably won’t make a habit of reviewing restaurants. Color me selfish, as I hope my favorite restaurants do well, but I also don’t want them to change either. This is one of those places. It’s called Shish Kabob Grill. It is a little, family run grill down by the state capitol and is definitely worth a visit.
Shish Kabob Grill is indeed a family affair. Omar Kaifo and his wife Mariam Ali (the amazing cook) opened it a few years ago in an old pizza joint near the capitol. The Syrian born family sought refuge from the violence in Syria and eventually ended up in Denver. Soon after they started up the restaurant Mariam took over as cook and my taste buds salute her choice. Mariam, her husband and three sons have all made this restaurant work.
The lunchtime favorites are their falafel sandwiches, gyros and a barbecue sauce blasted shish kabobs. I’m told this place is always bustling with wingtips and work boots around most lunchtimes, but I happened to visit the Shish Kabob Grill for a great dinner.
My table was completely filled with great food. No, it wasn’t barbecue, but it was great food all the same. As my friend put it, “there’s other flavors out there, but it just doesn’t get any better than this”. And he was right!
The Hummus and Baba Ghanouj are the stuff to write home to mom about. Creamy, light and absolutely full of flavor. If you go, don’t stop there though. I had the roasted Lamb Shank and it was absolutely amazing. Undoubtedly the best thing on the menu. No, I didn’t try everything, but there is no way that anything else could taste better than that! It was incredibly moist, tender and full of flavor. If you’re going to do it right shred your lamb shank into the serving dish with the au jus. A little pita bread, rice, some lamb and maybe some hummus and you’ll wish you didn’t ever have to stop eating. The Chicken Shawerma was a close second in flavor and equally as delightful.
Ask one of the sons about some of the dishes and you’ll see that they light up about their mom's cooking as much as I am just talking about it. So go, don’t forget to order dessert and don’t forget to tell them Rusty told you about their place. I didn’t tell them who I was when I was visiting. So they’ll have no idea who you’re talking about, but it never hurts to share the word about good food or TipsforBBQ!
Shish Kabob Grill
1503 Grant St. at Colfax Ave, Denver, Colorado