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Jun 29, 2007 01:54 PM

The Kebab Shop - SD

Introduced to this new place on 9th & Market by Turkish friends who say the flavors are authentic. Have tried the beef kofte kebab and lamb shawarma. We also tried an iskender kebab - lamb layed over pita bread, topped with tomato sauce, yogurt and a delicious grilled Turkish green pepper.

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  1. Been to gyros place on north side of Market at 9th. Will go downtown this weekend and walk across the street.

    1. I've been to The Kebab Shop and LOVE it! I got a chicken doner and a small Greek Salad. It was huge! I couldn't finish half of it. Tons of chicken and fresh veggies. The Greek Salad was good, nice big chunks of feta. yum!

      This place reminded me of all the Kebab Shops i went to in europe. Great fast food and Cheap! the doner was only 4.95 and good enough for 2 meals for me! This place is definitely a keeper!!

      1. I've been eating here regularly for months. When I first started eating here they had only been open a little while, and the place was never crowded. Now, the word is officially out and the place is packed everyday during the lunch hour. Line-out-the-door madness.

        The Chicken Doner is the one to get. Of course, if you like lamb or falafel instead, they're both good too. Wonderfully flavored chicken cut from the spit, wrapped in thin toasted lavash, and stuffed with cucumber, tomato, mint, cilantro, purple cabbage, and a delicious garlic yogurt sauce.

        The shawarma is good too (all the fixings of the doner in a bun), but the thing gets to be a little too big to deal with for my liking. The meat starts spilling out the sides. Sort of like trying to eat an over-filled sloppy joe. But it certainly is a generous portion.

        Not much else to say about it, really. It's an excellent spot.

        On the nit-picking side, I do find it funny that the place bills itself as "The Original Doner Kebab" and "The World's Best Doner Kebabs and Shawarma", both of which it appears to have trademarked. And the owner has been interviewed in more than one place as saying that the Kebab Shop is the first authentic kebab shop in the US. Which is especially silly to say, since Sultan Shawarma, just five blocks over on 4th avenue has been open longer, selling pretty much the exact same menu. What's more, is that a restaurant called Spitz up in Los Angeles opened in 2006, a full year before the Kebab Shop. And that place is pretty much the exact same restaurant, save for very minor differences in the presentation and menu. It even has the same backstory as the Kebab Shop, which goes something to the effect of "White American college kids go to Europe, eat kebabs for the first time, are wowed, and so come home and open their own kebab shop". And Spitz also has their own trademarking thing going on, with "Home of the Doner Kebab". Whereas, Sultan Shawarma here in SD is owned and operated by an Iraqi Kurd who fled Saddam's regime, and who financed the place by serving three tours as a translator in the Iraq war. Yet, there's no "the original" or "world's greatest" signage on his place. So, so much for the Kebab Shop or Spitz laying claim to being the "first" or the only ones using "authentic" flavors. Kinda makes those places a bit like what Chipotle is to mexican food. No offense, of course.

        Anyway, the food is still fantastic and I highly recommend the Kebab Shop. Those chicken doners are flat-out addictive.

        1. Just had lunch over here last week.

          Excellent and cheap.

          Place is busy too.

          Great down economy move!

          1. The Kebab Shop is opening a second location in Mira Mesa (corner of Mira Mesa Blvd. and Westview). Hopefully they will be able to improve their quality. I was very hopefully to get some real Doner Kebab but unfortunately what they are serving hasn't much to do with Doner Kebab (really lousy bread, below average meat).

            8 Replies
            1. re: honkman


              Do you really feel that the meat is low quality?

              Sure I have had better kebabs in other places around the globe, but I don't think the spot is all that bad.

              1. re: stevewag23

                Hehe, having been initated into doner kebabs in late 1980's England after pub closing served from vans, I always assumed that the meat was _supposed_ to be somewhat suspect (a la sausages) -- that's why we always called them "donor kebabs."

                ^^And that's why they don't let me donate blood anymore. Moo.

                1. re: stevewag23

                  The original owner (very tall, young, caucasian guy) sold The Kebab Shop a few months ago. Under new ownership, I've noticed a slight down-tick in the overall quality of the food. The Doner kebabs, for one, are not the same.

                  1. re: stevewag23

                    After you have eaten Doner Kebab in Berlin and other parts of Germany for many years which have the highest percentage of turkish immigrants anywhere (beside Turkey itself) you have problems eating something at shops like Kebab Shop which has really nothing to do with a authentic Doner Kebab. (It is comparable to people eatening authentic tacos for their whole life in all parts of Mexico and then are forced to only eat them as Taco B(H)ell.) So to answer your question - yes the quality at Kebab Shop (even 1-2 years ago) is really bad. Even some of more lousy Kebab Shops in Germany have much better Doner Kebabs.

                    1. re: honkman

                      I tried a lamb combination plate at the Kebab Shop on my way to Petco Park last week. When I saw what the "lamb meat" looked like on my plate, I suggest a more appropriate term would be lamb byproduct. I tasted the lamb (or whatever it was) and found the taste and texture to be awful. I thus discontinued that portion of my meal. I ate the tabouli salad and saffron rice on my plate, which were fine.

                      1. re: honkman

                        honkman, I see your point.

                        I have had better kebabs in Australia and in Holland than at Kebab. Never been to Germany but they sound really good.

                        1. re: honkman

                          After you have eaten Doner Kebab in Germany, Hungary, Turkey and France for many years, you crave these flavors. While not in the perfect balance, this is as close as you can get anywhere on this coast. I've checked. The comparison to "Taco B(H)ell" is way off base and a little insulting. It is more like buying a taco at Rigobertos. While it isn't exactly the same, it is as close as you can get while meeting food service standards. If the switched to a a real Yufka, I'd be there every night.

                          1. re: dshollings

                            I don't know but the if the meat, bread, and sauce of a doner kebab taste nothing like a doner kebab (and by themself are not good independently how authentic or not they might be) pretty much all part all of the doner kebab are mediocre. They have a long way to go to become the Rigobertos of Doner Kebab.