SALEM, Va. – Supporting the American Dream — it’s something many of us hope to do, which is part of why Tasty Tuesday came to be in the first place.
That’s exactly what we came across when we stopped in at KJ’s Grill and Kabab House in this week’s Tasty Tuesday.
Shaeen Mehmood was born in Pakistan and raised in England before moving to the states in 1990. Since she was young, she had a dream of owning her own restaurant.
A dream echoed by house guests.
“Pakistani hospitality is very much food-oriented,” said Mehmood. “A lot of people would consistently said, ‘you should open your own restaurant. I would pay for this.’”
And here we are. KJ’s Grill and Kabab house offers a variety of food you won’t get anywhere else, starting with three types of tikka.
“Lamb tikka, beef tikka, chicken tikka. All of those are made to order, and they’re served on fresh naan,” said Mehmood.
The naan dough is made daily before going for a quick heat in the tandoor oven.
“Layers of flavors,” said Mehmood.
That’s exactly what you get with the masala naan — green onions, cilantro and green chilies give it a savory flavor with a last-minute kick. But there are plenty of other varieties to try too.
“The cheese naan, chicken naan and date naan are different items,” said Mehmood.
Whether you opt for that or curry, rice and vegetables from the hot bar, you won’t leave on an empty stomach.
Before you do leave, though, wash it all down with Mehmood’s special mango lissa.
“Whether you’re having it in the dead of winter or in the middle of winter, it’s very refreshing,” said Mehmood.
At the end of the day, you can find comfort - not just in the food - knowing you’re helping Mehmood live out her American Dream.
“Every day right now is a struggle. Our food is top quality. Our food is made to order, and I think that’s what sets us apart from anywhere else,” said Mehmood.
KJ’s is located off Apperson drive in Salem from 11:30 to 2 and 5 to 8 Monday through Saturday.