by Terrance Mc Arthur
Our roving food critic Terrance Mc Arthur continues his search for great food in Sanger and the surrounding communities. Check out more Great Food Search here!
Any way you spell it, it’s serious eating. Best known in the Middle East and Armenia, variants of this grilled meat dish range from Africa to China, with or without skewers.
Now, I love kabobs by any spelling, and there are lots of places in the Central Valley to skewer your kebabs. Here are a few close enough to places where I work that I can stop in for lunch or dinner.
Uncle George Kebab, 628 O Street, Sanger, 93657
Formerly Sanger’s Shawarma Express, the name has just been changed, about seven years after George and Stella bought the place (If you have trouble finding it online, use Shawarma Express as the search term). We usually eat here several times a month. Thursday is Rib Night, but that’s not what this article is about (but those ribs are oh-so good!). This is about the kebabs.
The beef kebabs are juicy and tender, glistening and delicious. Nothing separates those succulent chunks of meat, not onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, or zucchini. The chicken kebabs are similarly constructed. Do not ignore the container of paprika-sprinkled dipping sauce. Dip away! The pilaf is fluffy, golden-yellow rice with bountiful bits of vermicelli, although their bulgur pilaf is even better! I like the salad, love the lentil soup, and my wife even sneaks off to lunch at Uncle George’s while I’m at work. Of course, I do grab her leftovers when I get home.
Kabab City, 945 W. Manning Avenue, Reedley, 93654
It started in Fowler, spread to Reedley and Hanford, AND NOW IT’S COMING TO FRESNO AND VISALIA! Is it the Blob? NO! IT’S KABAB CITY!
The Reedley branch is across Manning, south of Reedley College. The place looks basic, and the kababs are pretty good (chicken, beef, and kafta [a lamb/beef mix]), but what surprised me was the side salad. It was wake-up-the-taste-buds good, crusted with pepper. I never thought I would go to a restaurant for the salad!
Uncle Harry’s Classic Meals Restaurant & Catering, 1201 G Street, Reedley, 93654
The building looks like it has barely entered the twentieth century. Inside, the walls are decorated with pictures of Reedley’s past, celebrities, and the obituary of Uncle Harry. At lunch, the Chicken Kebab Sandwich is a major draw.
Gently spicy, it comes with onions, tomato, pickle, and a choice of rice or bulgur pilaf. I’m becoming a bulgur beast; it has so much more texture than rice.
Churrasco Grill,1901 N. Gateway Boulevard, Suite 101, Fresno, 93727
Hidden among the office buildings west of FAT or FYI (depending on what you want to call Fresno’s airport), Churrasco looks like a Mexican restaurant from the outside, but its heart is roasting on a kebab skewer.
The Beef Kebab Plate was ready in only five minutes! The meat was a bit crispy, but it was tasty. The bread was sesame-studded, and the pilaf was all rice, no vermicelli, but everything was flavorful.
The Bottom Line
OK, so I have my favorites. I still choose Uncle George in Sanger as my go-to location, but the salad at Kebab City will stay in my memory.