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It's not exactly on restaurant row. and you'll never see the cell phone crowd fighting for a table here, but Abdullah's is the coolest place in town. The correct name is Rob's Ribs and Abdullah's catering--but Abdullah's just sounds better--and that's what every soul food aficionado on the west side calls it.

Abdullah Hassan and his nephew Rob (the rib guy) have brought the song of the south to those whose appetites run to hoppin' john--collard greens-- good ribs-- and perfectly fried catfish. Those greens are as brightly flavored, vitamin rich, and righteously seasoned as any I've ever tasted south of the mason-dixon line. And the ribs are meatier, spicier, and more finger-lickin' good than any chain-link product you'll ever swear by.

As good as these are-- it is Abdullah's Egyptian rice that his customers say first made him famous. Chock full of lobster-- stir--fried vegetables, and spices, this Muslim take on a Chinese recipe is worth the wait for the days when the eccentric chef decides to make it (usually weekend lunches).

It's nice to know that westsiders finally have a clean friendly and tasty place to call their own. To those who think of the neighborhood at Martin Luther King and Washington as a desolate and foreign country---I say go there for lunch--take an open mind, and a curious palate---and you'll see what a talented black muslim chef can do with the classic components of American soul food. By the way ---only the non-muslims eat the ribs----Abdullah doesn't know what he's missing.

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Abdullah's is located at 1100 N. Martin Luther King Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 648-1010.

This is John Curtas.

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