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Dec 29, 2011 10:51 AM

Thousand Kabobs - new Pakistani kabobs and more at 218 N. Liberty in Baltimore

As I was walking to lunch at Mekong Delta today I noticed this new take-out place had recently opened around the corner, and I ducked in to check it out. Two friendly Pakistani women were manning the small kitchen, and they handed me their menu which looks quite promising. Shami kabob, house-made naan and roti, samosas, haleem, seekh kabobs, capli kabobs, and more. Prices range from about $3 for a samosa plate to $8-9 for mutton biryani and a seekh kabob plates with nan or roti.

They look like they could really use some support too - so I will be going there next week to start diving into the menu. [sorry I am not reporting on the food itself, but as tempting as the menu looked, I'd been craving some pho from Mekong Delta all week.]

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  1. Through the miracle of Chowhound, I learned of this place through Crackers' post above, and walked over to 1K Kabobs for lunch this afternoon. Was served an Enormous chicken biryani for 7.99 and an excellent chapati for 1.25 or 1.50. Delicious, delicious food -- the biryani is also enough for at least two meals. Nice people, too.

    1. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for the heads-up!

      1. Thousand Kabobs has a tentative toe-hold in a rather down-at-the-heels location next to the Dutch Pot, looking out at the rear of the Fresh Greens supermarket. I think of it as Hidden Kabobs. And so much the better for those who know it is there.

        This tiny place has zero atmosphere, save what is created by the warm smiles of the women preparing and serving the food behind what looks like a bullet-proof glass window. What it does offer is generous servings of home-style dishes not often seen in Baltimore.

        Start with an order of Aloo tikki and you will get three fat 4" croquettes of potato and onion and chilies, fried on the flat grill, and stuffed with spices and fresh cilantro. ($2.99 for this filling snack - an absolute bargain.) The patties crumble when cut warm, and are delicious when topped with either the yoghurt or tamarind sauces that come on the side.

        The samosas are fairly standard, although generous and fresh, since they don't get made until they are ordered. The naan I 've received could use more attention to timing - one side burnt and the other with virtually no char. But with only two women in the kitchen, having to take orders, prepare food, package the food, and ring up sales, it is hard to do it all perfectly.

        The best of what I have ordered (thus far) - the slow-cooked haleem. It is a soupy stew or stewy soup, made of wheat, lentils and beef. It sounds boring, but is assuredly anything but. The spicy and heat level is somewhere between a sharp jab and a roundhouse kick in the chest. It is packaged with a container of toppings: carmelized fried onions, chopped cilantro, fresh ginger, minced green peppers and lemon slices. Use them all. So aromatic and flavorful, it is a must-try.

        The mutton biryani that made an appearance in an earlier menu has now been replaced with goat biryani ($8.99) and that may be my next venture, or the just-added aloo gosht (meat and potato curry - $7.99). They've also added more vegetarian dishes, such as chanay, daal chana and mutter pulau. I just hope the place survives long enough to let me work through the entire menu.

        3 Replies
        1. re: crackers

          Is the place eat in, or just takeout?

          1. re: crowsonguy

            My recollection is that there MIGHT be two tiny tables there, but that's the extent of it.

            1. re: lawhound

              I don't recall seeing tables, but I wasn't really looking. I wouldn't recommend trying to eat there. There's an indoor food court area in the retail space next to the Fresh Greens supermarket (used to be a Super Fresh) where you could probably sit and eat.

        2. Run, do not walk to this excellent Indian/Pakistani takeout joint downtown. I went by there for the seond time today and received a huge serving of papri chaat for $4 (enough for 3 servings?) and an excellent chapati for $1.25.

          Extremely nice people and fresh. fresh food -- but I was the only customer there during the late lunch hour for 10-15 mins.

          10 Replies
          1. re: lawhound

            I'll check them out today on my way, finally, to Mekong Delta.

            1. re: southbaltimoregirl

              Mekong Delta was closed (The owners are visiting relatives abroad).

              So I went to 1,000 Kabobs and had the Aloo tikki, which were exactly as Crackers described them. We had ours extra hot and loved the yoghurt sauce and tamarind that came with. I'm curious if anyone has had their kabobs.

              1. re: southbaltimoregirl

                I found myself in a very similar situation yesterday, with Mekong Delta closed, and also ended up at 1000 Kabobs. I had the chicken seekh which was very good but I was disappointed it was not served with rice, chickpeas, or salad I’ve become accustomed to...just some fried onions and peppers plus a fresh baked naan.

                Others in the group got the biryani, which I didn't try but received mixed reviews, the haleem, which received very good reviews, and another chicken dish that I don't recall but also received high praise. I'll make a return visit soon, but probably won't get the kabob again.

                1. re: gregb

                  Me, too. For the haleem, but not the kabobs.

                  1. re: gregb

                    I had the Chicken Jalfrezi with rice today ($8.99 - comes with rice or naan). It was wonderful - very flavorful and loaded with red and green peppers and a complex mildly spicy (for me) sauce - ginger, tumeric, cumin, coriander. The huge serving of long grain rice came topped with carmelized onions and chopped cilantro. And there was a small container of raita included.

                    A narrow counter runs along the outside wall with four bar stools for anybody who wants to eat there - but it looked like it was used more for people who were waiting for them to prepare the dishes to go.

                    The take out menu has evolved since I first went. In fact, it is now on its fourth printing, this time in a more ambitious glossy color flier. I am hoping this bodes well for its staying power. I was told that several items, such as the haleem, were inadvertently left off the latest menu. I can attest that the haleem is still available nonetheless.

                    1. re: crackers

                      This place has the best haleem! I tried it last week, we did take-out. The drive home was excruciating, with the aromas wafting throughout the car. Once I got home, I tried the haleem and it was tremendous, the flavors were sublime and intense, all at once.

                      We also got the chapli kebab, kadhai chicken and extra naans. What amazed me the most about the naan, was it was still soft the next day. Most places, the naan becomes stiff and cardboard-y even before you get home. But the set-up at the restaurant is not very ergonomic for the two ladies working there. The prep kitchen is off to the rear, and they are always scurrying off in one direction or the other. The naan-prep area is far from the tandoor, and for every single naan the lady came running back and forth. Made me feel really sorry for them, running a restaurant is hard as it is, running all evening while you do it must be even harder!
                      We will go back there again soon, the folks are friendly, the food is fantastic.

                      1. re: TiaMay

                        I love the Haleem (only weekends) at Kabob N Karahi in Cloverly (Silver Spring), but have never had it anywhere else. I rarely can get myself to even try anything else. I am excited to go exploring again in Baltimore. Thanks for the recommendation.

                        1. re: TiaMay

                          I actually prefer the traditional naan that become stiff after sitting a bit. In my opinion, those usually have a superior chew and texture fresh out of the oven. That being said, I still like Thousand Kabobs' naan.

                          It's great to have this place in Baltimore. Finally there is a decent Pakistani restaurant in Baltimore I can recommend to my non-Pakistani friends. Punjab Kabob and Sweets in Halethorpe has gone quickly downhill, although their kheer is still the best around. (Stay away from the kheer at Thousand Kabobs, btw.)

                      2. re: gregb

                        greg, i think the absence of the accompaniments with the kebabs is simply a cultural difference. that is primarily a middle eastern custom, while pakistani kebabs usually come with the peppers and onions you mentioned....

                2. Closed. But a sign says that a Peruvian place will be coming in. The sign had images of ceviche, not chicken. I'm hopeful.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: crackers

                    Yes, a sad days for lovers of of their biryanis, aloo paratha, etc.