When scanning a menu, it's easy to gravitate toward the familiar, the go-to. Far too often, though, that means missing out on a specialty dish or ethnic delicacy. In this series Gut Check tracks down St. Louis' more unusual culinary offerings in hopes of expanding our collective food knowledge and answer the question: Should you really "Eat This?!"
While driving south a ways down Kingshighway, you'll pass a few neighborhoods taverns and a couple barbecue joints -- stellar south city staples each and every one -- but then, a bit unexpectedly, the Kabob House (4940 Christy Boulevard; 314-832-2977) appears and you'll pretty much have to stop, because you've just stumbled upon some excellent Middle Eastern cuisine. There's a strong chance you're thinking falafel, and with good reason: they're pretty amazing. But we decided it was time to try something new. Like lamb...lamb liver.
It's obvious that Kabob House owner Chris Lami is pretty excited for us to try the dish (though it's not on the regular menu -- you'll see on the board above the cash register), explaining that all the meats are of excellent quality, supplied by Star Packing, but it's not often he gets to prepare the lamb liver. He disappears back into the kitchen, leaving us to gaze around the spare environs. It's a simple room with little adornment, with the exception of one wall decorated in Irish travel posters and one painting with a gilded frame.
But our attention is quickly focused as Lami drops off our plated meal. The grilled liver is sliced into thick chunks and served on a bed of basmati rice with grilled tomatoes and small house salad on the side -- plus, a delicious Greek yogurt. Immediately it's apparent that there's a unique flavoring here, and when pushed, Lami admits there is in fact a "secret sauce" involved, but it's a closely guarded recipe. All he'll say is, "It's Mediterranean style with a twist." Whatever it is, the flavors going on are all pretty great.
Overall, the liver was lightly cooked and very tender, with a smooth texture -- there's a recognizable difference between lamb and beef but we always say embrace the unique: you should definitely try this. Grab some Baklava for desert, because it's the right thing to do.
See also: - #77: Falafel at Kabob House
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