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1 Catt. 2: Metro Halal Food v. Tasty Kabob

2011 September 24

CATTLEYA, J., delivered the opinion of the Cart. JEREMY, C.J., delivered a separate concurrence.

I must begin with a very distasteful matter — one that relates not to the parties to this proceeding, but to the Chief Justice. My brother’s love for lamb is so severe that he undoubtedly has an interest in shaping the future landscape of lamb cuisine. For this reason, he cannot offer an impartial palate, and I call upon him to recuse himself from this proceeding.

Arlingtonians have begun to wonder whether Metro Halal Food or Tasty Kabob is the superior purveyor of lamb gyros. Located across from the mall at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and N. Stuart Street, Metro Halal Food is a fixture in the Ballston neighborhood. Tasty Kabob has recently set up a cart (not one of its trucks) on Fairfax Drive, right on the doorstep of George Mason University’s campus in Virginia Square. Both offer a lamb gyro (though Metro Halal Food calls it a Gyro on Pita). Here’s how the two compared:


Metro Halal Food’s Gyro on Pita  

Regularly outside the Ballston Common Mall

Good-sized serving of meat

Cubed chunks of lamb, flavorful but dry

Lettuce/tomato = fillers

Pita was the opposite of soft

Good tzatziki sauce

Hot sauce that’s hot

$4.99 posted price ($5 actually charged)

Cash only

Tasty Kabob’s Lamb Gyro

Tasty Kabob’s Lamb Gyro

Sometimes at GMU’s Arlington Campus

Very generous serving of meat

Tasty gyro meat, except chunks not slices

Lettuce/tomato = garnishes

Soft pita

Good tzatziki sauce

Medium-heat hot sauce

$5.99 posted price ($6 actually charged)

Cash or credit card

Bottom line: Tasty Kabob’s lamb gyro wins on taste. If you’re willing to risk the chance of walking over to an empty sidewalk spot, then head to Virginia Square to see whether Tasty Kabob’s cart is there. (Unfortunately, unlike its trucks, Tasty Kabob doesn’t advertise the location of this cart.) However, if you want a guaranteed (and cheaper) lunch, go to Metro Halal Food in Ballston.

*Update. As of February 2012, Tasty Kabob no longer operates the cart on GMU’s Arlington Campus.

JEREMY, C.J., concurring in the result and the opinion, save for its first paragraph.

While I concur, generally, in my sister’s opinion, her beginning, concerning a certain “distasteful matter” necessitates my response. It has been suggested that my “severe” love for lamb results in an “impartial palate,” for which I am “call[ed] upon . . . to recuse [my]self from this proceeding.” I respectfully decline to do so.

To be sure, my love for lamb is immense. But a truth my sister conveniently neglects to mention is that lamb ranks only second in my hierarchy of preferred proteins. Well behind duck, in fact, for which my love and admiration is indeed “severe.” A “duck truck,” with which we are not today confronted, would present a far better case for my colleague’s argument, though even in such a case I would decline to recuse myself. (A brief request of our readership: Please open a duck truck, or encourage capable others to do so.)

More importantly, though, I call upon my sister to imagine the precedent to be created were I to recuse myself in this case. Her own “severe” penchant for orange cheese, for Cheez-Its, and for all other artificially-orange foodstuffs is well documented. And yet, she has (with my own blessing, I note, and with the blessings of both justice and impartiality) not yet twenty-four hours ago reviewed CapMac’s Classic CapMac’n Cheese, which featured not only orange-colored cheese, but a certain “brilliant” Cheez-It crumble. I can conclude only that my sister’s accusation of an “impartial palate” is wielded here as a mere political tool, out of place in a solemn legal proceeding such as this.

I would also like to take this opportunity to recommend Ravi Kabob, in close proximity to Ballston and Virginia Square. While not a “mobile gastronomic enterprise,” and thus outside the jurisdiction of this Supreme Cart, the proprietors of that establishment do awe-inspiring things with lamb which my “impartial palate” cannot help but mention.

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