Sunday, December 7, 2008

Meet Ali

You may have noticed something shiny and new in the heart of Kensington. 46 days ago, a man named Ali trundled his stainless steel cart to the northwest corner of Church and McDonald and set up shop. Smiling widely while grilling his chicken, he opines that his native Afghanistan offers the best food in all of Asia, because they keep their recipes simple and cook more of the animal at once. Ali has spent much of his 2 years in the United States working at Middle Eastern restaurants (including Gyro King), but recently decided that going into business for himself was wiser. We have to agree. The lamb and chicken were both succulent and flavorful, the pita was fresh and grilled ever-so-lightly to add that crucial razor-thin layer of crispness, and the white/hot sauce combination was perfect. At $3.50 for an overloaded gyro or $5 for platter with rice and a drink, the one-two punch of taste and value is pretty extraordinary. So the next time you're emerging from the subway at Church & McDonald, wondering, as we all do, what you're going to do for dinner that night, swing by and see Ali. You may find yourself coming back for more than just the food.