The owners of KOOB The Kabob Factory invited me to KOOB’s first birthday party, which took place two weekends ago. I can’t believe how quickly time flies by. KOOB had been on my list places to try ever since they opened last year since I LOVE kabobs but I’ll sheepishly admit that I never got around to trying it until this event. I was particularly interested in trying KOOB after their lamb kabob made it on to Avenue Magazine’s 25 Best Things to Eat in Calgary for 2013. The owners of KOOB are actually related to the folks at Atlas Specialty Supermarket & Persian Cuisine. Atlas has been my go to place for koobideh in Calgary, which is ground or minced meat shaped around a skewer and cooked over an open flame. The koobideh at Atlas are served traditional style with the saffron rice, roasted tomatoes and grilled onions. What makes KOOB, which incidentally is short for koobideh, different is that it is more of a fast food/take-out joint than a sit-down restaurant and the kabobs are served in a more contemporary/westernized fashion as they are either wrapped in a pita aka “koobwiches” or tossed on a salad and dressed with a variety of toppings and sauces.
KOOB offers four different varieties of kabobs – beef (made of ground chuck), chicken (made of ground breast and thigh), lamb (made of ground lamb shoulder) and veggie (made with potatoes, carrots, various beans, and peas). The kabobs, with the exception of the veggie, are all meat with no filler. After deciding on the type of kabob, you have a choice of either white or whole wheat pita if you decide on a koobwich or the kabob can be an addition to any of the salads. I was pleasantly surprised at huge selection of toppings available for the koobwiches and salads. The “signature” toppings, which are all made in house, include hummus, basil tomatoes, sumac onions, black and yellow salsa, slaw, and sweet pickled onions. In addition, you can also choose from a variety of classic toppings such as spinach, lettuce, pickles, green peppers, black olives, banana peppers, cucumber, and mild cheddar cheese.
In addition to choosing the toppings, there are 7 signature sauces (all housemade) and 8 classic ones to choose from.
The kabob is then carefully wrapped in the pita and placed on the panini grill for a couple of minutes until the pita becomes crispy.
My friend M tried the Chicken Koobwich Combo, which included fries and a drink. The fries were really tasty. They were perfectly crispy on the outside and not greasy at all.
I tried the Beef Koobwich Combo. I had my koobwich topped with lettuce, basil tomatoes, sweet pickled onions, slaw, green peppers, and the signature Spicy Pomegrenate sauce. It was delicious and very filling. The beef kabob was very tender and flavourful while the whole wheat pita was crisp. What I like about the koobwich is that it’s very compact and portable. Whether as a snack or lunch, you can get your kabob fix while enjoying a stroll in the neighbourhood. It’s certainly not as easy to do with a kabob that is served traditional style with a bed of saffron rice. KOOB is a great place to go for a healthy lunch or snack. All the ingredients are fresh and the meat contains no additives, fillers or preservatives. The food is well priced and reasonable while the service is friendly, quick, and efficient. KOOB is definitely a great healthy alternative to the typical fast food joint.
Since this was KOOB’s birthday party, we also got to have a piece of their birthday cake. This huge cake was made by Orchid Pastry, which is a Persian bakery with a main location on Centre Street around 62th Avenue NW and also a smaller location at the Calgary Farmers’ Market. Prior to this, I’d only ever tried their saffron ice cream, which I bought from Atlas Specialty Supermarket & Persian Cuisine. The birthday cake was a vanilla cake with a strawberry cream filling and was topped with dark chocolate curls. It was delicious! I can’t remember when was the last time I took notice of a piece of birthday cake. By appearance, it look rather ordinary but the taste was what got my attention. The cake itself was really moist and light while the strawberry cream filling tasted really fresh. And I liked that it wasn’t too sweet and overly rich. This was one of the best pieces of birthday cake that I’ve had in a long time.
Thanks, KOOB, for inviting me to your first birthday bash! I’m glad I finally got to try one of the koobwiches. They were delicious and perfect for a quick, healthy lunch. I’d definitely be back soon for my kabob fix!
KOOB The Kabob Factory
#5, 2015 4th St SW,
Simons Valley Plaza
Bay #9 – 6219 Centre Street NW