Conspicuously absent from Peter Meehan's perceptive, thoughtful review of the Kabab Cafe was any mention of one of the original chowhounds, Jim Leff, who championed the restaurant's cause to anyone who would listen even before Chowhound existed.
Many years ago, when I was reviewing restaurants for the New York Daily News and Leff was writing for Newsday, I got a call from Jim, who implored me to review Kabab Cafe ASAP because he was worried about its survival. So he and I ended up eating a decent, not great, meal there while he explained to me in great detail why each dish succeeded or failed.
I did end up reviewing the restaurant. Alas, I can't find the clip of my review, and I don't think you can find it online. Reading Meehan's review, all I could think about was this: Does Jim Leff think it's gone downhill? Because it sounds to me that the Kabab Cafe is the same bastion of inconsistency and idiosyncracy it's always been. And in spite of all that, after reading some, not all, of the 400-plus messages on Chowhound about the Kabab Cafe, I have to conclude the restaurant remains a Chowhound favorite to this day.
Address: 25-12 Steinway Street, Astoria NY 11103
All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.