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Markets & Stores 3

Koobideh @ Halal Meats Deli & Grocery (San Jose)

Melanie Wong | May 8, 200509:30 PM

As its name implies, this is principally a halal butcher shop. The personnel and cash register are behind the meat counter rather than stationed near the exit. They're surrounded by a full line of groceries and staples for South Asia's Indian and Pakistani cuisines, a fair smattering of Middle Eastern goods, and some fresh produce fill out the inventory.

Tucked in the back corner of the shop, a grill station offers Persian kabobs and dishes. Stopping in today to pick up some mango juice, I asked how long it would take to fire up a koobideh for lunch on the run. "Just 5 minutes", was the reply and I ordered up. The staff were curious to know if I'd had this before. I nodded, and then they asked where. "Many places, but my favorite is Rose's", I answered. The Persian cook perked up on hearing this and said, "So you like Persian food? I used to cook at Rose, been here 6 months. You eat this and tell me next time how you like my kabob compared to Rose's".

As he slid the ground lamb and beef off the single skewer, I looked on approvingly noting the nice char and crusty edges. He placed it on a sheet of Wheat Valley Bakery lavosh and dusted it with sumac. "More sumac, please," I requested. He started to roll it up, and I asked him to add some herbs first. "You don't want them separate?", he asked. "No, I'm going to eat it right away," I replied and indeed did scarf it down before I left the parking lot.

Garnished with fresh mint and cilantro (I asked him to hold the onion), the kabob was delicious and did remind me of the koobideh at Rose Market in Mountain View. With a high proportion of lamb and the complexity of a well seasoned grill, the juicy sandwich was a deal of a lunch for $2.49.

Halal Meats Deli & Grocery
1538 S. DeAnza Blvd.
San Jose 95129

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