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Nov 7, 2005 06:50 AM

Good Afghanistan Fod

  • c


I am in the middle of eating kite runner and and really tempted by all the food they eat. Does anyone know of a good afghanistan resturant, either in the harvard square, along mass ave from harvard to boston, or in Boston? I am looking for kebabs, shorws, pilau etc etc


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  1. everybody here will send you to one place and it's great. the helmand. in cambridge, near lecheme and cambridge side galleria

    2 Replies
    1. re: dm

      Just went to Helmand again last week and its still great. Highly recommend the kaddo (pumpkin appetizer), the chick pea and potato salad (mostly chick pea) with coriander dressing, and the half rack of lamb. We had a mid priced sonoma pinot noir with dinner (la Crema?) which went surprisingly well with the food.

      1. re: dm

        I 2nd the Helmand! I haven't been in quite awhile but my wonderful meal there the last time has been so memorable. All of their pumpkin dishes are delicious. Actually when we went we let the waiter order for us since we were unfamilar with the food and he brought us the most delicious dishes.

      2. Sorry about all the typos, wasn't quite awake this morning.

        So I am looking for afghanistan "food" and it's because i am "reading" the kite runner

        4 Replies
        1. re: Cravings
          Bob Dobalina

          As an alternative, you might try Ali Baba Tandoor, on Mass Ave in Cambridge, north of Porter Square and across the street from the KFC/Taco Hell.

          It was formerly Buzkashi, all Afghani - now there are more Indian elements, but my observations of the menu are that many Afghani dishes remain.

          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            Having been to both several times, I can confidently say that Ali Baba is nice but Helmand is undoubtedly a cut above. I purposefully ordered similar dishes from both so I could do a fair side by side and the difference is dramatic. If I didn't know about the Helmand, I'd say Ali Baba was a great choice, but since I do know, I can't in good conscience send you anywhere else :)

            1. re: InmanSQ Girl

              I agree 100%. We have loved Helmand for years and when in Porter a few months ago decided to try the food at Ali Baba's. The decor was not as nice as Helmand's and the food was nowhere near as good. I ordered the same dish that I usually get at Helmand and it was surprisingly lacking in flavor. And IIRC, the prices weren't drastically less than Helmand's either.

              The Helmand
              143 1st St, Cambridge, MA 02142

            2. re: Bob Dobalina

              Nononononono. Not Ali Baba Tandoor. Terrible terrible. Helmand on the other hand is teriffic. (Ok, to be fair, I was last at A.B.T. when it was Buzkashi -- same owners, same chef -- and it was the single worst food experience I've ever had the misfortune to take part in. But even so, I will never ever go back to eat there, regardless of its current name.)

          2. I ate at Ali Baba Tandoor last night for the first time. Delicious! Each dinner includes lentil soup and afghani bread. I've past the restaurant many times (I live a few blocks away) and never had the urge to try it. Boy am I happy I did.

            I forget the actual names of the dishes, but my appetizer--ground beef dumplings with dill yogurt sauce--was homemade, fresh, and yummy. My main course, a vinegar marinated lamb with rice was equally good.

            This is a great alternative for a reasonably priced meal if you're tired of Christopher's and Sugar & Spice.

            4 Replies
            1. re: rockblues3

              Have you been to the Helmand? I've enjoyed the few meals I've had at Ali Baba well enough, but I haven't found it anywhere near the same league as its competitor across town.

              1. re: finlero

                I've been to the Helmand in Cambridge numerous times - as well as the Helmand run by the brother in San Francisco. Every time the food has been fabulous. The Kaddo sounds weird (Pan-fried then baked baby pumpkin seasoned with sugar and served on yogurt garlic sauce, topped with
                ground beef sauce.), but tastes amazing everyone I know that's tried it loved it. A great place to go to on a cold winter night in Boston - as the open stove seems to really warm the place up.

                1. re: DJDiva

                  Am I the only one who finds the Kaddo not-so-special? It was good, but I expected the flavors to be more interesting or something. We ordered the vegetarian version (so no ground beef) - does the beef really add something?

                  1. re: fbf242

                    You are not the only one who found Kaddo somewhat underwhelming. I did expect a more interesting interplay of the sweet and savory but only got the sweet! My first reaction was that it was sweet enough to be served as dessert.
                    Their lamb chops, on the other hand, was quite wonderful.