Burger and Kabob
Robert M. Price
Last evening, my family and I were driving home from New York City where we had attended the latest meeting of the Jesus Seminar. We decided to stop for dinner randomly somewhere off Route 95 in Virginia, as it happened in Fredericksburg. I spotted a little storefront called "Burger and Kabob Place" in an undistinguished strip mall that also contained two storefront churches, one of whose music you couldn’t help hearing through the walls of Burger and Kabob.
As the name implied, the place offered a mixture of American and Pakistani food. (Well, I knew it would be Middle Eastern, anyway.) I wound up ordering Fried Chicken, partly because I am by no means venturesome when it comes to the menu, preferring to stick to old favorites, but also partly because I remembered having some excellent Fried Chicken at an Arab restaurant in Dearborn a couple of years back, and I hoped these good folks might be party to the same secret!
They were! That chicken was terrific, and my wife Carol remarked on how fantastic their unique Philly Cheese Steak wrap was! I could not help thinking of the passage in the Koran when the apostles inquire of their Lord Jesus, "Is God able to cause a laden table to descend to us from heaven?" (It is a wonderful combination of the miraculous feeding stories, the Bread of Life Discourse from John chapter 6, and the Last Supper narratives of all the gospels.)
Okay, the food wasn’t literally a miracle, but it was close! And I have to thank God for it. And for the generous hospitality of our hosts. When we were leaving, the hostess came rushing out with a complimentary extra meal, thanking us for our enthusiasm! This one was great, too! Some sort of peppery, cinnamon-spiced beef with rice.
It’s the luck of the draw when you just pull off the wide road and take a crack at finding something. It happened to me also some sixteen years ago when Carol and I were driving up to Pennsylvania from Mount Olive, where we resided then. We stopped for gas at a truck stop which turned out to contain a huge second-hand book store, surely an oddity! A brief scrutiny of the shelves revealed the presence of a couple of obscure horror fiction anthologies, including Brother Theodore’s Chamber of Horrors, featuring a rare reprint of a C.Hall Thompson story, "The Pale Criminal." What a find! (I am, you see, a horror story writer and anthology editor myself, so these things mean something to me!)
I still cherish those volumes. The chicken from Burger and Kabob is just a fading memory, but I fully intend to visit those smiling Pakistani culinary geniuses again next time I’m on the road up north! And I suggest you do, too. At 367 Warrenton Road (Route 17) you will find not only astonishingly delicious food but also some mighty friendly Muslim folks who will show you by their example what Islam is really all about. Okay, forget the theology! They’ll also show you what Fried Chicken is all about!
Robert M Price
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