Burn Your Brown Bags, Minneapolis; New Kabobs Serving A Good $4 Lunch

I just had the best $4 lunch of the year—and you can too! Here’s the scoop. Kabobs (thekabobs.com) is a great Hyderbadi, Indian, and Pakistani dive of a restaurant operating down on 78th and Portland, in Bloomington. They have another small offshoot, in Maplewood, and just opened “Kabobs Indian Grill” in the State Fair food court on the 4th floor of the Gaviidae next to Nieman Marcus. Their grand opening is set for September 1, but until then they are serving all diners a $4 sample plate of whatever they’ve got. My $4 got me:

*Good well-roasted, tender naan bread
*A puffy, individual-sized poori donut bread
*A spicy, excellent potato-stuffed samosa
*Some kind of chicken-cinnamon-stick biryani rice
*Some sour-tangy okra thing that had a lot of cardamom
*A really good hacked-up chicken curry on the bone

I got there at 12:40 p.m. and the line was about 25 people long; if I had gotten there any later I would have missed the samosa, which was probably the best thing in the meal. Next time I go I’ll probably hit it earlier—who knows what else I missed? The food was great: Spicy, varied, fresh, hot. As to the rest of the restaurant experience, service and whatnot, I have no idea. As of this writing the place seemed very, very provisional: There’s no menu-board, the pop-machine only dispenses water, they were even out of receipt paper on the credit-card printer. On the other hand—$4! For a huge good lunch. Of course, this deal won’t last. As of September 1, the $4 sampler plate goes away to be replaced by a real menu. However, as of this writing, September 1 seems far away. Put away your lunch boxes downtown workers who love spice! It’s now cheaper to eat out than brown-bag-it.

Kabobs Indian Grill
555 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
(4th floor food court, Gaviidae, next to Nieman Marcus)