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Come At Me, Bros 

Midvale's Kabob Bros refuses to pull any punches.

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ALEX SPRINGER
  • Alex Springer

Whenever I see a fast-casual joint that serves up traditional Indian cuisine open its doors, I can't help but get a little excited. It's an excitement that comes with a tinge of apprehension, however—Indian fast-casual spots tend to have a short lifespan.

This optimism for an Indian fast-casual place to fit into my rotation was recently rekindled a few months ago when I saw that an Indian and Pakistani fusion place called Kabob Bros (748 W. Blue Vista Lane, Ste. 600, Midvale, 385-275-7172, the-kabob-bros.business.site) opened up. It's taken me a little bit of time to pay this place a visit, but it's got me thinking fast-casual Indian food just might have a future here. What's more, the menu at Kabob Bros is entirely halal and vegetarian friendly; we could use more of both in the fast-casual world.

Kabob Bros set up shop in that volatile shopping district near the Zagg and Overstock.com corporate offices in Midvale, so it's easy to miss it when you're in that part of town. It's been some time since I've personally visited this area; I believe Kabob Bros occupies a spot that once belonged to a fast-casual nu-gastropub that did pizza and burgers, may it rest in peace.

It's a high-risk, high-reward location, but I think Kabob Bros has a few tricks up its sleeve that might help it put down some roots. The name itself has its own kind of big-dick energy that I could see playing well with the business lunch clientele—Kabob Bros is only a hop, skip and a jump away from tech bro, after all. Adding a unique menu that uses a Middle Eastern foundation of kabobs and falafel to construct variations on street fries and pizza also makes Kabob Bros a powerful way to break up the workday monotony.

Now, Kabob Bros isn't the first Indian fusion restaurant to make us fall in love with it by putting chicken tikka masala on a pizza. That said the pizza—or kabob'za as it is called within the confines of Kabob Bros—is very much its own thing. I went with the Chicken Chapli Kabob'za ($9.99) for my first rodeo, and I have to say I was impressed. It's got a naan crust which gets topped with a masala pizza sauce, melty cheese, green peppers, mushrooms, kabobs made from ground chicken and, I shit you not, slices of dill pickle. The whole masala mosh pit gets a generous drizzle of the Kabob Bros garlic sauce which plays very nicely with the pizza sauce.

From a size perspective, I would classify the kabob'za as a member of the personal pizza variety. It's about eight inches in diameter, sliced into four chunky pieces. The toppings are plentiful, and the naan crust does a good job of keeping all that cargo secured. I normally detest green peppers on pizza, but when you're talking masala pizza, I really think they work—plus, the added greenery makes you feel better about devouring everything else because veggies.

As far as flavor goes, the kabob'za does not pull any punches. A bit of feta cheese shows up at this party, and you get that buttery flavor right around the same time the masala sauce starts to get too sweet. The other veggies at the party do a nice job of providing some fresh flavor and welcome crunch, and the garlic sauce makes sure things don't get too dry. Right when you least expect it, you get a zing of acidic dill pickle flavor. When it first hits the tongue, you're like, who invited that spooky art student that goes door to door selling his homemade manga comics to the neighbors? But once you see him with a few drinks under his belt, you can't help but nod and say, "Fuck yeah, Brenton!"

Sufficiently pleased by the kabob'za, I next went for the street fries. I opted for the Beef Tikka Street Fries ($8.99), since I was curious to check out their red-meat game after enjoying their chicken chapli. You might be tempted to think that the street fries are something to get on the side, but it's a good idea to purge that thought from your brain right now. It's a heap of both waffle and curly style fries, which I heartily respect—both varieties are built for scooping up toppings—topped with all those lovely pizza fixings I mentioned earlier. It's a fantastic mess, laden with garlicky, curry-heavy flavors. Here it was the beef that caught my attention—it's superbly tender, and tasted amazing with the garlic sauce and curry fry sauce that slather this dish.

If more traditional Middle Eastern food is your thing, Kabob Bros also offers kabob plates and kabob masalas. There's nothing wrong with hanging on this end of the menu, as they aren't kidding around with their kabob skills, but as with all places that have decided to get a little crazy with their concept, try the weird stuff first. Sure, sometimes it's a gimmick, but at Kabob Bros, the weird stuff happens to be the life of the party.

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