Walter Mencken 10:06 a.m., Feb. 6
Kebab Shop: Why They Called Alexander “The Great”
Walk into the Kebab Shop (630 9th St, 619-525-0055) and you walk into history.
First because they have all these pictures of old Istanbul, second, because really, you’re eating fresh-cooked, but ancient foods. Like their pita, and rotated lamb, and other good stuff the Middle East has been teaching us to eat for not hundreds, but thousands of years.
But also because history is actually written into the food on the menu.
Talking about the Iskender kebab plate. For my money (and it costs $8.59) this is the most delish food in town, specially this time of night (and it's about, well, 8:59).
It’s sliced up lamb with sliced and toasted pita bread chunks, plus a tomatoey and garlicky sauce, plus lebna sauce. It’s truly addictive. And I like it for not being bound up like a mummy in a wrap.
The history? It’s in the name. “Iskender” is a way of saying “Alexander.” The dish is a tribute to that great Macedonian, Alexander the Great, who conquered everything from Greece to Afghanistan, powered by lamb kebabs all along the way.
And now, here he is, 2K years later, conquering San Diego. One döner at a time…