Best Shish Kebab (2001)
When this past year saw the opening of George Abdallah's new all-shish kebab, all-the-time self-serve eatery, it saw something fine and good happen. This spotless, cheerful little operation allows a Houstonian to visit the Levant, dine at a very reasonable cost on a Thousand and One Nights menu, pick up a little box of terrific loukoum for the habibi at home and be asleep in one's own bed the same evening -- all without using up one of your three extremely valuable wishes proffered by a jinni of terrible visage. There are lamb kebabs grilled to order, of course, but also quail kebabs and vegetarian KBs. The BYOB policy (Will Rogers Elementary School is across the street from the corner eatery) allows one to have a glass of wine with dinner for the most reasonable cost possible. Next door is the Edward's 24-screen Cinema at Weslayan and Portsmouth, making the spot convenient for theatergoers before or after meals.