When you arrive, you're going to see Baltimore as it is. If you aren't accustomed to Baltimore you might find it sketchky. However, its as safe as anywhere (including the Inner Harbor) in the city. In this block there's high end barber shops, boutique clothing stores, halfway houses, churches, sub shops, residential homes, a liquor store, a very big and popular Safeway, non profit HQs, and fancy apartment residences . Its as Baltimore as it gets when it comes to mixing demographics.
Street parking is ample except during church services.
The food is excellent. I am married in a South Asian family, and I have been to dozens of Indian/Pakistani places with my mother-in-law. This is clearly her favorite for authenticity, flavor profiles and selections. She is herself an excellent cook and QUITE picky about food, particular in her expert/native cuisine.
Additionally there is a dedicate corps of cabbies who frequent this location. They have their pick of places, but as other reviewers have noted, bang for the buck is tops at Mr. Kabob. Whether a place is favored by working first-gen people is either a good thing or a bad thing, mostly depending on the eye of the beholder. For me...its a good thing.
The food is decidedly Pakistani/North Indian. No coconut curries, dosas or anything sweet. If you're a fan of Punjabi cuisine, this is your spot.
On service - despite the fact that its sit-down, expect a fast casual dining experience. If you want to be waited on go to the Ambassador or the Helmand. There might be white table cloths on the tables, but the service is going to be more like a fast casual joint.
Service speed - previously Mr. Kabob has had issues with turn-around times, for both dine in and carry out. However in the last 6 months or so I have noticed a marked improved in their ability to get orders on the table and out the door. 25 mins for a bigger (4 entree) carry out order. About the same for dining in. Its not the fastest place...see above about the quality and freshness of the food. I can see how the mismatch between the service level and speed would upset some diners - but basically you pay about $7 less for your entree than you would elsewhere, which comes out of the service overhead. Adjust your expectations (and hunger level) and prosper.
Quality control - very good. I have had more than 10 meals from this place since it opened, every one has had fresh tasty naan, hot fresh entrees, fresh rice, crispy samosas, etc. Zero complaints about quality in both carry out or dine-in.
I just read this slate article. It makes me proud to be a en engineer because these hippy arty folk live in a world of grey I can't handle.
However, I agree with the general point: It is not racist to poke fun at the materialism of pop culture, no matter the color.
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