After the small food-cart spot near The Castilian and Starbucks was left unoccupied for most of the summer, Kabob Yo has moved in with a low-key white trailer that serves up savory, robustly flavored pita wraps. But the place is still new and hasn’t picked up the slack on some glaring detractors.
On the plus side, this is almost how great kabob, shawarma and falafel sandwiches should taste. Each sandwich comes packed with all those flavors in a dense gustatory experience, where bites can vary depending upon what crunchy veggies or bit of herbs you bite into. The crisp lettuce, crunchy red onions, juicy tomatoes and mildly spicy jalapenos combined with the quintessential sweet cucumber tzatziki sauce only enhances the seasoned meats. There was even parsley sprinkled in here and there.
As for the actual meat and veggie options, each one comes with its own complex nuances. From the light hints of pepper sprinkled over the chicken kabob and shawarma to the rich, flavorful beef options, the fresh veggies only add to the jam-packed sandwich. Even the vegetarian option of mashed-up and fried chickpeas in the form of a falafel is a warm, satiating morsel.
Best of all for college students is the price. You can walk away from Kabob Yo only paying about $5 or $6. As of now, the cart is still cash-only, but for a sandwich that jam-packed, it’s worth saving some extra cash for a quick lunch or dinner.
However, there are still some kinks to work out. The pita used to wrap all this Mediterranean goodness is way too flimsy. Great pita is like a doughy cloud of heaven that delicately envelopes the fillings; it shouldn’t be thinner than the notebook paper you use to doodle on in calculus.
Nor should the gyro meat, stacked and combined pieces of lamb or beef, be as thin as the pita. All you get is overpowering flavors of those crisp veggies meant to complement and not bury the flavor of the meat or vegetarian filling. All of the gyro meats’ potentially delectable flavors are lost faster than the tzatziki dripping out of the ill-matched pita.
Ask for some fries to go with it and you get basic cut potatoes dunked in the fryer. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with some plain french fries, but given Kabob Yo’s ability to adequately season their meat, one would expect more.
As for the other parts like service and atmosphere, Kabob Yo’s exact hours of business are hard to pin down. Plus, seeing the owner of the cart walking around in a Big Bite staff shirt, the notorious grease trap located a few feet away, isn’t appetizing. The owner’s ho-hum, bland attitude is not the most welcoming to the unspectacular cart. But don’t write it off just yet until you’ve tried the shawarma or kabob.