Episode 17: Shish Kabob
Address: 4651 Nolensville Pike
How have I been sleeping on Shish Kabob for so long? If it weren't for you wonderful readers voting for Shish Kabob in Best of Nashville, I may have pushed this review back indefinitely, and that would have been a shame. Granted the name is almost too descriptive and the store front is the exact opposite, so it's an easy spot to skip, but Shish Kabob is a spot that you definitely should not skip for any reason. There's a lot of Middle Eastern food on The Road and SK is — by both popular demand and critical decree — the best option going.
Shish Kabob is by far the classiest kabob joint on the strip, and while I do love the grimier, boot-strappier establishments, it's really nice to walk into a simple, elegant, well-designed spot. I would call it upscale, but that almost negates how friendly and relaxed the vibe is and how reasonable the prices are — yes, Shish Kabob is a good spot for a fancy (booze-free) date but it's also a family spot and a pretension-free zone. Shish Kabob is about as relaxing and chill as a restaurant gets. And I'm not just saying that because every meal I've had there in the last few weeks has reduced me to an almost catatonic state of bliss.
The thing that puts Shish Kabob above and beyond is maybe the simplest thing of all: the rice. The rice at SK is always perfectly cooked — moist, warm and tender, bursting with flavor that you don't get in a lot of rice — and the green rice with dill and lima beans might be my new favorite dish. Dill! Lima beans! Together! I could eat green rice every day. And that it's just the foundation — not the main deal, mind you — of your meal gives you an idea of how good the rest of the grub is. Seriously, with rice this good how could the actual entree not rule.
As of this writing, my better half and i have barely skimmed the surface of the menu — there's a lot of options and they are all drool-worthy. The lamb shank was almost buttery in its tenderness, bursting with meaty goodness and melting in your mouth. The chicken kabobs are sublimely seasoned, grilled to that perfect balance of charred and juicy — it's the sort of chicken that gives everyone else's chicken a bad reputation — and the steak kabobs are the higher being of your choosing's gift to carnivores. The kebideh — Persian style ground beef kabobs — is some of the most expertly executed I've enjoyed, though my mom — who incidentally, hasn't really eaten Persian food before — found it a little greasy. Which is about the closest thing to a complaint I've heard about Shish Kabob,