Heaven in a Pita

Kabob InternationalFirst, let me apologize for being the perpetrator of the most heinous of restaurant-reviewer crimes: I forgot to take a photo of the food. But imagine with me, if you will, a 9″ soft, warm, pita generously stuffed with tender lamb, lettuce, Feta and Tzatziki sauce (not a tomato or pickle fan). It took up the entire basket and required a fork to eat, gargantuan and overflowing as it was…

But, before you get to drooling too heavily, let me rewind and start at the beginning. After a bit of hemming and hawing, Bryan and I decided to hit up Kabob International for dinner tonight. Tucked away on the south side of the Cordova Collection at Dexter, beside a laundromat and not far from Fox Ridge Pizza, KI’s storefront is understated, to put it mildly. I was put off, then amused, by the man sitting outside, head thrown back, eyes closed. Could business be so slow that the employees were sleeping on the job?

I was pleasantly surprised to see three other tables occupied inside. The dozing man greeted us as we walked by. And I was hit with the delicious aroma of rotisserie lamb as I passed over the threshold. What lay ahead was even better than all that though. The cashier / waitress was very friendly, totally understanding when I needed to upgrade my order from a standard 6″ gyro to a giant 9-incher (totally worth the extra $2). And I have never in my life had a better fountain Diet Coke. Ever. Don’t doubt me, people—if you love aspartame infusions as much as I do, I highly recommend getting one at KI.

Kabob International doesn’t stop at average-Joe gyros—the “International” part of their name suggests something special right from the start. From Euro to Arabic to Crispy Mid-South BBQ, KI’s gyro menu is rife with choices. Feta drew me to the Euro right away. But I was seriously tempted to try the Mid-South. Maybe next trip. Or maybe I’ll get a kabob, since it is the restaurant’s namesake after all.

Interesting quote above the register
Interesting quote above the register

From the first bite of tender lamb, I was hooked. They say any Greek restaurant with a vertical rotisserie is worth its weight in tahini. And Kabob International was no exception. Perfectly cooked and seasoned, the lamb melted in my mouth. And, although cucumber chunks typically aren’t my thing, the chunky Tzatziki was cool, light and satisfying. The pita was just the right consistency to break apart and make mini gyros: one piece of lamb, a small wad of lettuce, with Tzatziki all over everything. Mmm.

Kabob International’s atmosphere is mellow, with standard neighborhood-pizza-place tables and chairs, a few low-key decorations and a vibrant paint scheme in the rear of the eating area. Bryan imparted some knowledge:

“Someone told me once that you can judge a restaurant based on the quality of its napkins. If you have napkin dispensers with flimsy little napkins, chances are, it’s gonna be good.”

KI had the dispensers and the insufficiently sized napkins. They didn’t let me down.

The aftermath (next time I'll take one before devouring!)
The aftermath (next time I'll take one before devouring!)

I highly recommend Kabob International to anyone who’s out and about in Cordova and wants to hit up a solid gyro joint. They now have lamb shank on the menu, so I have a feeling it’s a good place for more than a quick bite too. And try the Diet Coke while you’re at it. You won’t be disappointed.

Kabob International
8050 Dexter Rd. #105
Cordova, TN 38016
(901) 755 – 9385

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