Favorite food find of the week: Chicken Kabob

Chickenkabobstew.jpg
Lori Midson
If you ask Foad Aftahi what he thinks about Denver's Persian restaurant climate, he wrinkles his nose and shakes his head. "I don't think you'll find any good Persian restaurants in Denver," he claims. And that, he insists, is why he opened Chicken Kabob, a tasteful, contemporary, fast-casual Persian restaurant that sits squarely in a small mall at 9678 East Arapahoe Road.

chickenkabointerior.jpg
Lori Midson
Aftahi, who hails from Iran, and moved to the States in 1969, where he eventually ended up in Wyoming and graduated from the University of Wyoming with a civil engineering degree, operated his own company for thirty years, but in 2008, he says, "everything went south with the economy," and he came to Denver to be closer to his kids, who pushed him to open a Persian restaurant. "I've always had a passion for cooking -- it's a hobby -- and I have experience in catering, and my daughter told me I should try something new, like a restaurant."

The first mistake I make when placing my order is to ask Aftahi, who's peering into the dining room from his semi-open kitchen, if he has hot sauce. "Persian food," he says with a frown, "is not spicy." And nor should the cuisine of Persia be lumped into the food from the Middle East. "Comparing Middle Eastern food to Persian food is like comparing Japanese food to Chinese food," he tells me. "Persian food," he notes, "is mellow and aromatic and definitely not spicy."

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Lori Midson
In fact, Persian cuisine is incredibly delicate, relying on gentle spicing and fresh herbs and fruits; rice is front and center, the use of oil is minimal and chicken is the favored protein. And Persian food, Aftahi insists, is good for your body. "It's all fresh and natural, and a much healthier alternative to a grease trap."

His menu, a mix of chicken kabobs and koobidehs, chicken stews and basmati rice, either scented with saffron, or specked with herbs and vegetables, plus a remarkably good yogurt sauce and an equally terrific cucumber salad, is straightforward with minimal flourish -- and so is Aftahi's food, which arrives on Styrofoam plates.

The grilled chicken kabob, marinated and rubbed with spices, flaked at the mere poke of a fork, and the juicy koobideh, a ground chicken skewer, is even better. The plates, all accompanied by drifts of impossibly fluffy rice (Aftahi procures it from a source in California), yogurt and cucumber salad, are massive -- and cheap -- and no hot sauce is necessary.

Aftahi, who opened Chicken Kabob just over a month ago, says that trade has been brisk, and that his clientele is notably diverse. "I came here to introduce my food to Americans, but I welcome everyone, and so far, we've had everyone from Russians and Pakistanis to Americans and Persians coming in," he says, adding too, that "people are coming back and becoming regulars -- they're all supporting me."

If you go -- and you should -- the hours are Monday through Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.



Location Info

Chicken Kabob

9678 E. Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village, CO

Category: Restaurant


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11 comments
Alemmom
Alemmom

The flavor of the food at Chicken Kabob is much better than anything I've had from any of the other Middle Eastern restaurants in this neighborhood off Arapahoe. And it's lunch take-out friendly. I love that they give you a little side of sumac when you get it to go.

Shayankhorsandzadeh
Shayankhorsandzadeh

Do yourself a favor and do not try this horrible food.  I went to this newly opened restaurant and got sick very bad.  The guy doesn't know how to cook kabob, this is not persion food.  Persian kabob is way more delicious than what I saw there. The quality is horrible, don't waste your money.

guest
guest

Angela Switzer

What I can tell you - is that this Persian restaurant owner really knows how to cook.  His food is delicious and he is proud to serve only 'the best'.  Do yourself a favor - TRY IT : )

BBQ meat
BBQ meat

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff withgood ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration. Thanks forthe great information. And thanks for sharing.

Sina Sadeghi
Sina Sadeghi

When I was younger I used to work for MobyDick rests in DC area, so I know a bit about persian rests. MobyDick makes good food, however, by only looking at the pictures from CheckenKabob, I just want to go there and try it. It looks so yummy. and FYI, analogy of Mr. Aftahi's Persian food is so true. Persian foods are NOT spicy at all, and come with variety of tastes and aromas. and regarding the location, I don't think this restaurant is going to have any problem. Success of a business depends of quality and customer care. I am sure Mr. Aftahi will have an absolute succes. Best of luck Mr. Aftahi.

Zabih Fozi
Zabih Fozi

Chicken Kabob, from what I have heard so far, is a nice dining experience.  The staff is friendly and dedicated. The chicken tastes good and side dishes are fresh and made from top quality ingredients.  Give them a try and tell others about your experience here.  

Robert Nami
Robert Nami

Foad, the chef owner of chicken kabob makes THE best chicken kabobs ever! Juicy, flavorful and aromatic.  Unlike anything else you find in any fast food or even formal Persian restaurant...If you happen to be near chicken kabob during lunch or dinner, do yourself a favor and try the food...you'll be hooked

Faramarz Jabbari
Faramarz Jabbari

When one opens a restaurant, it is not as if the commercial centers lay a red carpet for them to come and start a new business in any center, anywhere; if they do it will be for the giant fast food chains. For the small businesses with their limited means usually the conditions of the deals are so difficult that makes it impossible to have a space in any center, anywhere. So you folks who seem to have no other comments but to find fault with the location and to complain about your inconveniences, if instead of criticism support the business that is offering the good service, they will be able to open a branch in your neighborhood also at a later time. Chicken Kabob's food is healthy, delicious and very reasonably priced.

chooseyourwordscarefully
chooseyourwordscarefully

"flecked"???  Did you mean "flaked?" because that would make more sense.1fleck verb \ˈflek\

Definition of FLECKtransitive verb1 : streak, spot <whitecaps blue="" flecked="" sea="" the=""> 2 : to color as if by sprinkling with flecks <his atlas="" flecked="" is="" james="" sarcasm="" wit="" with="" —="">

</his></whitecaps>

David Costantino
David Costantino

There's a Persian restaurant directly across Arapahoe and two more Middle Eastern places within three blocks.  Why open this new place here?  Pick a different neighborhood where you can appeal to more people.

Scott
Scott

I already know that the answer is probably that the immigrant communities are actually in these neighborhoods, but seriously, why can't we have a good Persian place in Lakewood or Arvada? If I'm going all the way to Centennial, I have no shortage of Persian places there (e.g., Shiraz).

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