From our informal polls, many Nashville natives and immigrants alike swear that the unassuming, two-room Persian restaurant House of Kabob in a south side strip mall consistently serves the area's best Middle Eastern food. We agree. Everything's great here, and unlike too many other area eateries, the servers actually apologize if the food doesn't arrive within about five minutes of your order. You're quickly started with fresh pita bread wedges accompanied by butter, feta and fresh cilantro. Most everything on the lengthy menu is fabulous, but a great place to start is a falafel combo plate. It includes the deep-fried falafel patties, tabouli salad, white rice and the divine kashk
, which is buttery sautéed eggplant with cream of whey, sautéed garlic and mint. The gyro meat arrives fork tender either as a sandwich or with basmati rice. The perfectly cooked chicken, lamb, beef and salmon shish kabobs live up to their top billing. Lamb shank, kubideh
(charbroiled spiced ground beef) and several beef stews are also fine choices.