Driving down Bacon Street the other day, I happened to see the “OB KABOB” restaurant near the corner at Newport. I was surprised that I hadn’t seen it before, but I later found out that it had just opened in February of 2013 – only a few weeks ago.
I called Scott, my friend from the Beacon, and asked him if he would like to go with me to try it out, since he has accompanied me three times already to review restaurants. He jumped at the chance.
We went on a Tuesday for several reasons. It is “Taco Tuesday” and I felt that it would not be crowded because of the specials being offered at other neighboring restaurants.
I was unprepared at how small the restaurant is – 4 tables; 4 high tables; and a variety of counter space. (It was big enough to house 7 television sets, however!) The first thing I noticed was a statue of Jesus on the counter. I have eaten at many Mid-Eastern restaurants; this was the first time I ever noticed any religious symbol. It unnerved me at first; but I let it pass without comment.
The menu was extensive – 9 appetizers; 6 salads; 9 entrees; 2 soups – lentil and chicken; 9 sandwiches, including a hamburger; 5 beverages and 4 desserts. Additionally they offer wine, craft and draft beer, both domestic and imported.
As we waited an inordinately long time to be asked for our order, I got colder and colder. Air just seemed to rush in from everywhere, and I found that even with my wool sweater on I was uncomfortably cold.
We had arrived at 7:25 pm and it wasn’t until 8:00 that we placed our order. Scott ordered the Shish Kabob Mix ($12.99) that included a chicken kabob, lamb kabob, and a ground beef kabob (Koufta) mixed with onions, parsley, and seven spices. We had trouble understanding how this was served because the waitress told us that the lamb and beef were mixed together, but I think that on the skewer was some lamb and some beef. But even after tasting everything we were not sure of how it was fixed.
Suffice it to say that all of the kabob’s were tasty and tender. On the plate was also pickled beets; a salad mixture of cauliflower and cabbage that was somewhat spicy; hummus with a green olive with the pit in it, and served with pita bread .
Scott asked for a cup of coffee but it was 15 minutes before it was served to him. He asked for cream also and it took another few minutes before it was delivered. However, when he drank the coffee – which he said was very good – and tipped the cup, the price tag was still on the bottom of the cup. It is hard to believe that he was the first one to drink coffee out of that cup, and it made us wonder just how clean the cups were.
The waitress then served me chicken kabobs – which was NOT what I ordered. I ordered the Beef Tika Kabob ($11.99) and she apologized and said it would take 5 minutes to get me the right thing. It took 12 minutes. I did not get my order of pita bread and had to ask for it half-way through the meal.
Scot was not served silverware – it was at the end of the counter that we were sitting, and he had to get up and physically get his own. There was not a spoon in the already wrapped knife, fork and napkin. He stirred his coffee with a knife, and got the job done.
The noise inside the restaurant, however, was a real detractor from a relaxing meal. Besides the 7 televisions playing, there was also back-ground music; the din was constant throughout the entire time we were there.
Towards the end of the meal Scott asked for another cup of coffee and it was brought to him almost immediately. He still had to wait a few minutes for the cream.
If I were to rate the meal with an “A-F” ranking, I would give it a “B”. If I were to rate the service with the same kind of ranking I would give it an “F”. It was 9:15 pm before we finished our meal – way too long to wait for any meal in a neighborhood restaurant.
Scott visited the restroom and came back saying it was very clean and well kept up.
Would I go there again? Probably not. Not because the food wasn’t good – it was and there was a lot of it. But I was cold; the service was horrendous. And, even after paying the bill and leaving my OB Rag card with the money, no one came to us and asked how we liked the meal; no one said “come back” – although we heard them say it to a couple and a child that left right after us. I didn’t feel that they even cared we had been there. Maybe in a few months they will have things running smoothly, but I do not want to be a guinea pig for their success or failure.
Here’s the Widder Curry’s Grades: “B” for Food and “F” for Service