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Bob gave the chapali a definite thumbs up: "It's really good," he said. "Not what I expected but delicious."
The servers (mostly young college kids) aren't exactly polished and seem clueless about most of the dishes on the menu, but they're extremely friendly and accommodating. "I like this place," Bob said. "I hope they can make it."
The last restaurant in this location, the ill-fated Italian Altizio's, did have its fans (obviously not enough of them), and Joe Hemayoun is working hard to build up his own loyal customer base, offering a weekday lunch buffet and a $9.99 Sunday brunch that features Indian and Pakistani dishes ... and custom-made omelets.
I haven't investigated the brunch yet (the combination of sticky, pasty haleem and a cheese omelet frankly doesn't sound that enticing), but I admire Hemayoun's inventive marketing concept. A restaurant serving Pakistani dishes around here is unusual enough, and with all of the negative press the country has generated, it's a brave culinary decision. But that's all the more reason to visit the Kababesh Grill. The best way to overcome cultural assumptions is to set them aside and just eat.