Another Friday in the office, and it was a bit of a quiet one. The sun was sort of peeking out from the clouds and brief bursts of rain, so my coworkers and I decided to head out and hit up a food cart while the sun lasted. We were originally going to visit Re-Up for a pulled pork sandwich, but got side-tracked by Mangal Kiss.
We all liked the sound of kebabs and have all tried Re-Up before, so we decided to try out something new. Mangal Kiss specializes in Middle Eastern BBQ Kebab wraps.
They have two type of wraps – the first are the Shishliks, which are served on Taftoons (traditional Iranian flat bread), and the other are Kebabs, which are served on pitas.
The Mangal Kiss cart has a little chalk board to write up some specials. The Lamb Kebab is actually already on their menu, so I guess they just repeated it to highlight it as one of their recommended dishes. The other one is not on their regular menu – it is the Beef Kebab. We each ordered different items to see how they might differ.
My first coworker ordered the Beef Rib-Eye Shishlik. As I mentioned, shishliks are served on Taftoons. Additionally, they are served with Salatim, which is a sort of Iranian salad mix, and a number of sauces (Baharat, Amba, Zhug), which load the whole thing with layers of sweetness, spiciness, and complexity.
To me, the Taftoon wasn’t very different from a pita. A little flatter, it’s seemed pretty much the same to me. He said the beef was good and that the beets really stood out. He enjoyed it!My second coworker ordered the Lamb Kebab. Kebabs are served on pitas and with greens, mint, hummus, and a Turkish vinegarette.
The lamb looked really good and she quite liked it as well.I had the Beef Kebab, which has an Israeli salad, tahina sauce (which is ground sesame and chickpeas), sweet and savoury mango sauce, and served on a pita.
All three kebab wraps looked great, but I think the Beef Kebab looks absolutely amazing. It’s certainly not just randomly folded up, because the way it looks at the end suggests a lot of thought was put into how it is built up. Beautiful wrap!
While it looked really nice, I was a bit mixed when I starting digging into it. The pita itself wasn’t very warm, and the salad is cool. The only thing really hot is the beef kebab inside the pita. The salad, sauces, and spices added incredible layers of flavour, but there was one expectation that was noticeably missing for me – the flavour of the beef. I’m not sure if it was only the Beef Kebab, but I felt that there was too much salad and not enough meat. There is only one kebab in the wrap, and the flavours just aren’t pronounced enough to overcome the salad.
Further into the wrap, I pulled apart some of the meat and had it on its own. It had a great grilled flavour and was amazingly tender. Biting into the entire wrap again, it tasted like a good falafel wrap. That’s not bad in itself, but when I’m paying $9 for a beef kebab wrap, the expectation is to have more of a meaty taste to it.
Overall, the wraps taste good, look great, but didn’t wow me as much as I had hoped. It’s a shame that they don’t have a specialty vegetarian option (only a version with just vegetarian salatim I think), because I think they would be a big hit.