Right beside Turner Fenton Secondary School, stands the halal Middle Eastern restaurant, Caravan Kabob House, on the corner of Steeles Avenue and Kennedy Road. With its proximity to the school, its attractive floor-to-ceiling windows and its discounted student prices, it’s the perfect place to go for anyone on the hunt for a good, quick meal.
After going once informally with friends and eating a delicious chicken burger and fries with a side of a refillable iced-tea for the student price of around $6.30, I returned with my family at night to experience the side of it that doesn’t cater to fast-food seeking teenagers. The restaurant was pretty quiet for 7:00 p.m. on a Friday night, but the bright lighting, artistic walls, soothing background music and contemporary décor was impressive enough to ignore the lack of vibrant noise that, in my opinion, would have completed the atmosphere.
However, upon ordering, I discovered they were out of fries at prime dinner time on a Friday night. Dun dun dun. After going during lunchtime earlier I knew that the fries there were really good, and it was disappointing to find out they didn’t have any left. It was a Friday night after all, and fries are a staple at any restaurant!
Nevertheless, they offered the not-as-good replacement of salad with my mom’s beef burger – which they forgot to bring out with the meal. When my mom went to ask for it, they hesitated to accept their mistake. At this point, it was clear that they were not doing a very good job of making up for their lack of fries.
The burger itself had a thick, juicy patty and an abundance of fresh vegetables and rich sauces, but the thin, slightly soggy bun took it from amazing to average. They had clearly done a lazy job on that quiet Friday night.
On the bright side, the other dishes we ordered – the Wazeri and Sultani dinners with rice, salad and naan – were quite delicious, and no mistakes were made. The meat was tender and juicy, the rice was flavourful and plenty, and the naan was fresh and baked just right – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. The meal was very satisfying, and there was plenty to take home in a doggie bag.
After dinner, despite our bursting stomachs, we decided to try a dessert – the traditional Middle Eastern baklava. Three large pieces cost about $5.00, which is a great price for this commonly expensive dessert. The baklava was to die for: dripping with syrup, stuffed with filling, sprinkled with pistachios and perfectly crunchy on the outside while soft on the inside. It was satisfyingly sweet and worth the mess – the hand sanitizer required after just one piece was a testament to this.
Overall, the prices were reasonable for the amount of food and the atmosphere was definitely enjoyable. Despite the lack of fries, I would definitely go again – but maybe at lunchtime, or on a Saturday night when they might be more prepared…with fries.