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Food Factory/Ravi Kabob in Arlington

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I was wondering how spicy the food is at Food Factory. I tried Ravi Kabob a few months ago and it was way too spicy for me. I don't mean to be a wimp about this but if I'm miserable while eating good food, how good can it be for me? I'm particularly curious about carrying out the lamb chops at Food Factory. Thanks.

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  1. I've been to both places several times. I think you can enjoy the food at either place without getting your head blown off. You just need to choose carefully. For example, the samosas at Food Factory are mild unless you dip them in the green sauce, but the samosas at Ravi are spicy by themselves, and my wife, who is more sensitive to the heat, can't finish one. At both places, the boneless chicken kebabs are mild (but Ravi's are better).

    4 Replies
    1. re: davefaris

      the bone-in chicken at Ravi is better still IMHO. I didn't think of them as being spicy at all in the heat sense, but I tend to have a high threshold for spicyness of that ilk. quite flavorful.

      For those of you Ravi fans stuck further out in NoVA (like me), I should bring up again that Rawal Kabob in Chantilly is essentially a "branch" of Ravi Kabob...same owners and all that...for those of you unaware. I still prefer the original Ravi, perhaps just because I am sappy and sentimental like that.

      1. re: Lowbar

        Wow - thanks for that tip. Have you tried Charcoal Kebab in Herndon or Reston Kebab in (but of course)? What are your comments of those compared if you have? I know CK is either Pak or Afghan, not sure on RK.

        1. re: Dennis S

          I have tried neither...I am usually in Fair Lakes and the 50/28 interchange is about as far north or west as I can venture at lunchtime. i do go up to herndon on occasion and will drop in next time I am in the vicinity.

        2. re: Lowbar

          Thanks for the info. Sounds like Rawal has good genes, so to speak. Being in Chantilly, I've never been to (or really even heard of) Ravi Kabob, but I have tried Rawal and consider it a nice little spot -- I always mention it when discussing the larger places in that plaza: Thai Basil, Picante!, and Minerva.

      2. Food Factory is spicy also, but I can't comment specifically on the lamb chops. If you don't want spicy kabobs, how about a Persian place?

        4 Replies
        1. re: NoVaDog

          Aren't both Food Factory and Ravi Kabob Persian?

          1. re: cabster

            They are Pakistani. Moby Dick is Persian. There are others, too.

            1. re: NoVaDog

              Oops, a little geographical issue there. OK, what are some other good Persian places?

              1. re: cabster

                Kabob Bazaar is excellent. Haven't had a bad meal yet, been 15 times and ate in 3 times (no soda refills tho). I find myself often pulling over to the side to snack when picking up lunch from them as the smell drives me crazy.
                Ravi Kabob (the original) is fine but I had some temp. issues my first time up, so I'll have to try them again. The "smell" didn't was non-existant on arrival and it was also un-noteworthy on my drive back to the office. Moby Dick at Fair Oaks really sucked, but the G-town location was good. Will have to try their Arlington location some time.
                Mediterranean Kabob in Rockville is worth AVOIDing... heh. Just greasy, bland fare.

        2. For kebobs, the Moby Dick chain is good, so are the Bread and Kabobs (Falls Church and Alexandria). I know the Duke Kebob on Little River Turnpike is Persian, but have not been. The newer Sultan Kabob in Old Town has good daily specials, the lamb shanks in particular, but their kebobs are not that great. There are other Persian places, the Tyler Cowen guide has several listed and there are also halal food guides on the internet, if they list having things like koobideh (or kubideh) or chenjeh or dizzi (dizzee) then they are most likely Persian.

          1 Reply
          1. re: NoVaDog

            Sultan Kabob in Old Town no longer has daily specials. During the week they have kabobs and wraps. On weekends they have the lamb shank in saffron sauce and a fried fish on dill rice. A shame, but they told me their daily specials were just not selling.

          2. The best Persian is Shamshiry in Tysons Corner. Very authentic (it's named after a famous place in the Tehran bazaar). Excellent kebabs and Persian rice.

            1. Shamshiry in Tysons is quite food for Persian food. I avoid moby dick b/c the quality is never consistent, plus it's a chain of restaurant, unlike the family owned Shamshiry.

              1. Food Factory is SO bad. Ravi Kabob is just awesome, and some of the dishes are only moderately spicy. Most of the kabobs should be fine, though the stuff in the steam trays is honestly the way to go. Maybe you could soak your tongue in ice afterward....

                A new branch of Alladin's, a Lebanese chain, just opened on Fairfax Drive in Ballston, maybe a block from Food Factory. It has kabob dishes and has been good the two times that I've tried it.