Mohammad Afzal and Abdul Alnoor have been running this cash-only kebab joint in a tiny Arlington strip mall near Glebe Road and Route 50 for almost 15 years. As the restaurant aged, its reputation grew. In fact, the crowds became so intense that five years ago the owners opened a second location across the street. Almost everything on the menu can be recommended: rich lamb, spice-kissed chicken and a broiled, zesty beef sausage. A Lahori-style fish kebab is a nice surprise for those expecting nothing but cubes of grilled meat. Sole is marinated in a blend of house spices, then battered and deep-fried. The one dish that really sets Ravi apart, though, is its chole, a thick chickpea curry that is bright orange with spices and carries a lingering heat that builds as you eat. That the chickpeas (made with a secret spice blend handed down to Afzal from his mother) are the most popular item on the menu really says something, considering how well the kitchen grills meat.
--Justin Rude (Nov. 11, 2011)