Kabobs on West Main

In Charlottesville, where a restaurant’s ambiance and décor can be judged almost as harshly as the food, it’s refreshing to walk into Grand Market International Foods and Grill on West Main Street and find an eclectic space that seems unapologetically cluttered.

Visitors are first greeted by aisles of imported spices, silk scarves, and tea, but as you walk towards the back you’ll discover a new addition to the store: a kitchen area serving up Middle Eastern inspired dishes.

The menu is broken up into categories of kabobs, curry, and vegetarian, with options of sides including okra, chickpeas, zucchini, eggplant, and potato curry. There’s even a falafel sandwich that looks particularly tasty.

“I’m happy doing this. My Dad, he’s the one that opened the place up. He works here sometimes. So it’s mostly me and my brother," says Shaid Rehim, who runs the store with his brother Wahid.

They began serving food about two months ago, says Rehim, who believes the secret to success is how quickly they make food to order.

"We don’t pre-make it," he says. "We just toss it when the customer gives us the order, and the same thing with the naan bread. It just takes 2-3 minutes.”

For vegetarians, there's the Everyday Special Vegetarian Platter, which includes basmati rice, two choices of veggies, salad, fresh tandoori naan (bread) and sauce.

Dish ordered the lamb kabob, which came with rice, naan bread, and two sides of my choosing. It was a huge plate of food—two skewers of lamb kabobs on top of a massive bed of rice, with a helping of chickpeas and a basic side salad with cucumbers and tomatoes. The lamb was tender and came with a kabob sauce to top it off.

This no frills kind of place could be your new spot if you’re looking for good, quick Middle Eastern food for lunch or dinner. 

The market itself is open from 9am-9pm, and they serve food from 11am-9pm.