Name of business: House of Kabobs
Type of business: Middle Eastern restaurant
Location: 2618 N. Golden State Blvd.
Hours: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; Closed Mondays
Contact information: 209-667-1740
Specialty: Kabobs and dolma
History of business:
The Assyrian American Civic Club is known throughout town for hosting some of the city’s largest events, but the restaurant located at the back of the center has given Turlockers’ taste buds a cause for celebration for over 20 years.
House of Kabobs opened inside of the AACC in the late 1980s, first for members of the club and their families, AACC President Sam David said. As more and more members began recommending the restaurant’s food and providing excellent reviews, the restaurant decided to open its doors to the public about 10 years ago.
“We’ve gotten great reviews from the public and business has been good,” David said. “Now, a lot of our customers are non-Assyrians coming for our kabobs. They love them.”
While the restaurant’s lula, chicken and shish kabobs are all fan favorites, patrons also come to House of Kabobs for its dolma, David said. The dish, consisting of ingredients like meat and spiced meat, are wrapped in leaves, like cabbage or those from a grape vine.
These two specialties at House of Kabob’s are what set the restaurant apart from other Middle Eastern food locations in the area, David said, but the exact method for success is a well-kept mystery.
“It’s our special recipe,” he said. “It’s a secret — we can’t reveal that.”
Operating a restaurant with Assyrian cuisine is not only important to the Assyrian community that resides in Turlock, David added, but those who may want to learn more about the culture, starting with the food.
House of Kabobs offers dine-in and catering options and can provide food for parties of anywhere from 20 to 1,200 people at weddings, engagement parties, birthdays and more. Much like the dine-in menu, customers can choose from a wide variety of dishes including steak or chicken and sides such as rice or potatoes.
“This helps expose our food to the community at large, and it really helps everyone become accustomed to the diversity in Turlock,” David said. “There’s Mexican food, Chinese food, Portuguese food all here in the city…it’s nice to have a huge variety of delicious food. We’re kind of blessed with that here.”