« Gnocchi quest | Main | Edible bugs »

September 24, 2010

Cafe Kabab spices up Catonsville

lamb chopsAs my time as interim blog hostess grows short, I find myself reflecting on what I could have done differently.

Could I have written apolitical Top Tens? Surely. Foreseen that celiac sufferers wouldn't want to hear what extra gluten does for my pizza dough? Perhaps. Been kinder to a hapless "Top Chef" contestant? Nah.

But the question that really nags: Could I have done more to advance my personal dining agenda, namely: to promote and improve the Catonsville restaurant scene?

Sure, I've blabbed on endlessly about Atwater's. Noted the existence of Catsonville Gourmet, the opening of Regions. I've even posted about Grilled Cheese & Co., though I'm not sure that's taking us in the right direction. But I've neglected to report at least one Catonsville dining development. Until now.

Cafe Kabab opened several months ago at 736 Frederick Road, in a shopping center with a Friendly's restaurant. It offers Pakistani dishes, including kabab platters, biryani, curries and masalas.

A sign out front claims that Cafe Kabab is Catonsville's No. 1 kabab restaurant. Were it not for Kabab Hut up on Route 40, I would ask: Is there a No. 2? Even if it can boast a whopping two kabab joints, and an Indian place on Frederick Road, Catonsville is hardly a hotbed of ethnic dining. Which explains my selfish desire for Cafe Kabab to succeed.

I had lunch there a couple weeks ago with my husband and children, a friend and his little boy. The restaurant, a clean but no-frills place, had been closed for Ramadan. The man behind the counter, whom we took to be the owner, warned us the kitchen would be a little slower than usual as a result.

The wait was very long, but a free round of mango-yogurt drinks helped. And when the food finally arrived, the delay was forgotten. The naan was fresh as could be. It wasn't as rich as the Indian version we love; it was closer to a pizza dough. But it was fluffy and piping hot and served with a mild yogurt sauce. Our chicken and lamb kababs were pleasantly spicy and tender. The veggie platter had a golden potato patty that was quickly devoured.

For all that, we were the only people in the place.

Lunch specials start at $6.99. Nearly all of the platters are $9.99.

if you live in the area, and you'd like to have dining options more interesting than Friendly's, please give Cafe Kabab a try so it doesn't go away.


Cafe Kabab lamb chops. Photo courtesy of Cafe Kabab

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 5:35 AM | | Comments (7)


I certainly noticed a catonsville slant to most of your posts. I didn't appreciate the regional bias, as I never am in that area, nor desire to be, but I'm sure some appreciated the focus on catonsville!

But your treatment of a certain "top chef" contestant? Right on!

I grew up in the Catonsville/Arbutus area. Went to Catonsville High School, and met my wife at the then Catonsville Community College. So I loved hearing about the dining scene in that area. I can't believe how Catonsville has blossomed restaurant wise in the many years since I live there.

Tell me, does "Leon's Triple L" still exist in Arbutus, on East Drive? It was generally ho-hum food, but they had a fantastic "fried hard crab", and a really good "stuffed shrimp".

Based on some of the things you've written, I think I must live very near you on the southwestern edge of Baltimore. I just moved here a year ago (from out of state) and this part of Baltimore isn't considered as "hip" as some other neighborhoods, but I love it. I'm frequently in Catonsville (at H-Mart, Atwaters, Indian Delight, Catonsville Gourmet, Dusenbergs, etc) and I appreciate the expanding variety of dining options here. Thanks for writing about them and I'll definitely try out Cafe Kabob.

Jack Z, here's a link to the website for Leon's Triple L.

As a long time resident of the area, and haunter of many of the same locales, LV, I'm glad you pump up the locals. I much prefer a warm Sam's Bagel to an Einstein.

Anyway, last time Ms. Joker and I went to Cafe Kabab, it was Ramadan as well. Perhaps this coming week the restaurant gods will allow me to venture out for a Kabab.

To hmpstd - Wow, thank you. I looked but couldn't find it.

I see the "Stuffed Shrimp" is still on the menu, but alas, the "Fried Hard Crab" is gone. I see the also have "Fried Tomatoes", unusual for a small place

This really brings back memories. I remember when Leon's opened, I was just a kid then, maybe 15 or 16

I have dined in many places in the world. I like many traditional dishes from different parts of the world. But the day i stopped by for lunch at Cafe Kabab in Catonsville, it was like the neatnes and clean feeling of a western restaurant and the the authentic taste of the Middle East. Food was prepared in front of customers and was fresh plus Halal and the naan was the simply the best. Only thing about Cafe Kabab is, service was a little slow but very frindly. Please go to their website and find out how you could enjoy the best food in Catonsville Maryland. Cafe Kabab's Mango Lussi is the best in the world. If you don't like it for any reason you don't have to pay for it. That is my confidence.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

Top Ten Tuesdays
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Restaurant news and reviews Recently reviewed
Browse photos and information of restaurants recently reviewed by The Baltimore Sun

Sign up for FREE text alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for dining text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Food & Drink newsletter
Need ideas for dinner tonight? A recommendation for the perfect red wine?'s Food & Drink newsletter is there to help.
See a sample | Sign up

Stay connected