Fresh Naan Wrap with chicken tikka, chickpeas, masala and cilantro… (Richard Gorelick, Baltimore…)
The Harborplace pavilions have been undergoing a well publicized renovation. The Gallery at Harborplace, the midrise mall across Pratt Street, has been spruced up, too.
The Gallery's fourth-level food court has been restocked with stalls bearing generic sounding names like Sushi Express and Saku Saku. You might walk right by them. But at least one new stall, Krazi Kebob, is worth a second glance, and probably a special trip.
The first Krazi Kebob opened in College Park, where its Chipotle-style assembly system and Indian-Pakistani flavors — with a little Mexican thrown in — hit big with the college crowd.
Krazi Kebob's owner Naumaan Hamid is hoping it appeals to the office crowd, too. Hamid grew up working in Shaheen, his father's very popular Indian-Pakistani restaurant in Catonsville. Krazi Kebob represents Hamid's interest in the similarities between Indian and Mexican cuisine.
Krazi Kebob lets customers build their own salads, rice bowls and naan wraps, adding in a choice of protein like spicy chicken tikka or seasoned ground beef and either chickpeas or black beans. Then it can be dressed up with masala sauce, corn-mango salsa, chutneys, or pico de gallo.
The specialty, and the thing to get, is a Krazi Naan Wrap. The naan is made to order — rolled out and baked in a tandoori clay oven. The bread, soft, warm and slightly charred, makes for the best wrap foundation I've ever had. After the ingredients are layered on, the bread is rolled up in foil and chopped in half. You eat it as you would a California-style burrito, by peeling back a bit of foil as you go. Or you can do like I did — unwrap it and have at it with a fork.
The chunks of spicy chicken tikka I added in were heartily but not uncomfortably spicy — there's also a milder chicken option — and Krazi Kebob's sunny masala sauce is rich, thick and deeply delicious.
I tried building a rice bowl, too. It was good, but not nearly as satisfying. The Gallery location has expanded the menu to include fresh-made marinated and grilled items like beef or chicken over rice. But these need 15 minutes preparation time and don't work as well for a quick lunch.
I worry that some of the other offerings might distract new customers from the prize — the Krazi Naan Wrap. It wasn't until my third visit that I ordered a wrap, and now I don't know how I've lived without it.
Krazi Kebob was offering Krazi Naan Wraps, which usually go for $6.95, for $5 after 5 p.m. The offer will go on for a few more weeks, Hamid said, but not during the Grand Prix of Baltimore weekend.
Where: 101 S. Calvert St.
Contact: 443-869-3817, krazikebob.com
Hours: Open for lunch and dinner 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Lunch entrees: $6.59-$8.49