Jennifer and Naj Sassi had big plans for their new restaurant when they took over from the previous owner of Kabob Xpress about one year ago. Since then, they’ve offered Tri-State residents their own take on Middle Eastern cuisine by delivering on their mantra of always making the food fresh.
A “Mediterranean fusion” (Jennifer is Palestinian and Naj is Tunisian), the couple were living in Virginia while Naj operated a restaurant in the Washington, D.C. area before purchasing the local restaurant from former owner Sam Mohamed in the fall of last year, while visiting family in Evansville.
Within the first few months of ownership, the duo opened a drive thru, but still sticking to their “Always Fresh” slogan, they also added catering and delivery options. A recent addition is a small ethnic market inside the store at 3305 N. Green River Road with authentic products shipped in from France such as fois gras terrine, truffles, chestnut spread, gluten-free cakes, and chinaware.
“We serve Turkish coffee, and people look at our dishware and say, ‘Oh wow, where did you get this?’” says Jennifer. “So, we decided to try something new and have a mini-market.”
Kabob Xpress has plenty of options for those looking to chow down on hardy kabobs of lamb, beef, chicken, shrimp, and meat kafta (a minced mixture of half lamb and half beef) infused with Middle Eastern flavors to pair with other popular dishes like chicken shawarma and gyro sandwiches. The chicken, lamb, and beef are all slow cooked on a vertical rotisserie spit, keeping the meat moist with marinated seasonings.
The Sassis also offer vegetarian options like baba ghanouj and eggplant salad as well as vegan choices such as stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and hummus.
All Xpress plates are served with fresh naan bread cooked in a tandoor clay oven.
“We introduced a lot of new things when we took over, but the one thing that stuck out was the fresh naan bread that we did,” says Jennifer. “We bake it on a clay oven, and that sets us apart.”
All of Kabob Xpress’ food is Halal, which is a traditional way of preparing foods that adhere to Islamic law, such as removing the blood from meats before cooking it.
“We have a pretty big menu,” she says. “It’s a little bit for everybody.”
The restaurant is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 12 p.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday. The lunch menu is available each day until 3 p.m.