Mideast meets Midwest at Westchester’s Pincho Factory
9860 SW 40th St, Westchester (in Jack’s Shopping Center)
Hours: 11am-midnight Monday-Thursday, 11am-2am Friday-Saturday, 11am-10pm Sunday
Prices: Pinchos $3.49, burgers $4.49-$5.49, hot dogs $3.49-$3.99, sides $1.49-$2.99
FYI: Catering available; monthly specials posted on Twitter and Facebook
Smoked and sizzled meats rule at Pincho Factory with kebabs, burgers and hot dogs served in creative ways. Middle East meets Middle America in a menu that came together in Miami, so there’s a South Florida twist with burger specials like the fritanga with deep-fried cheese and slaw, the patacon between two tostones and the arepa nestled in fried corn cakes plus seasoned and grilled skewers of ground beef, skirt steak and chicken.
Owner Nebal Ahmad’s parents immigrated to Chicago from a village in the Palestinian territory of Ramallah. He grew up in suburban Oak Lawn, and moved to Miami with his parents as a youngster. His parents ran convenience stores and are part owners of a family-run restaurant chain.
Nebal was introduced to pinchos (steak kebabs) by an aunt who is married to a Brazilian, and struck out on his own two years ago with the help of his Venezuelan-born wife, Kristal. She makes the sauces the place is known for: pink mayo with ketchup, creamy cilantro, tomato-based barbecue, roasted garlic aioli, jam-like mango and a spicy-sweet version inspired by Thai sweet chile sauce but hotter.
The kebabs can be had on a stick or off the skewer over a bowl of basmati rice or on pita bread with choice of sauce and chopped cucumber and tomato salad. The custom burger comes with a choice of toppings including bacon, fried egg, banana peppers, pickles, grated cheese and sauce. The Vienna beef hot dogs are served Chicago-style in poppy seed buns, “dragged through the garden” sans ketchup. There’s a riff on a Colombian dog with bacon, cheese, mango sauce, pink mayo and potato sticks. The pincho dog is a sausage-shaped ground beef kebab with hot dog fixings.
Any item can be accompanied with fries drenched in condensed milk and chocolate syrup or with bacon-Cheddar-ranch dressing. The sole sweet is pastry-wrapped, deep-fried cheesecake, but you can satisfy sweet and savory cravings with burger specials on guava pastry buns or with peanut butter and bananas.
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