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Food Factory
By Phyllis C. Richman
Washington Post Restaurant Critic
From The Washington Post Dining Guide, November 1996

| 4221 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, Va.
(703) 527-2279

Hours of Operation and Prices
Open: M-F 11am-10 pm, Sat-Sun noon-10
Entrees: $5-$6.50

Other Information
• Cash only
• No Reservations
• Dress: casual
• Free parking lot
• Nearest Metro: Ballston

The Washington area is now thickly studded with kebab places, and much of the credit is surely due to the Food Factory. Not only was it among the first, it's still among the best, cheapest and most atmospheric.

Entered from an alley and sharing its space with an ethnic grocery, the Food Factory is self-service and strictly basic. You choose your kebab from the refrigerator case of raw, skewered meats or your curry dish from the steam table. You order at the counter and wait at a long bare table for your kebab to be charcoal-grilled. You pick up your plastic plate of food on a red plastic tray. And you fill yourself on well under $10.

The kebabs aren't quite as dazzling as they used to be, but they are still generous. Lamb's the best, vinegary from its marinade, though it's likely to be chewy. Chicken, rubbed with red spices, has lately tended to be dry. Kebabs are better than they sound, though, once you've spread them with the garlicky yogurt dressing and wrapped them in the house-made flat bread. The accompanying lettuce and tomato salad is tawdry, but you can end your meal on a grace note of house-made Afghan ice cream.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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