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Good Afghani in Queens?

  • j

I've had some great food at Khyber Pass in the east Village recently and was wondering if there were any similar places in Queens that are at least as good.

I particularly like their mantoo, sambusa, shireen palow, chicken kabobs, and lamb stew dishes. Any chance in Queens?

Thanks

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  1. Your post sparks a question I've been meaning to ask about the Afghani restaurants in Flushing. There's a little cluster of them on Main Street. I don't know if they are any good. Anyone been?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Abbylovi

      We ate often at the Kabul Kebab House on Main Street. . . until we discovered Persian cuisine, which is similar and elevated (although it lacks the wonderful Afghani pumpkin or leek dumplings with yogurt sauce). I would make the effort towards finding great Persian instead.

      1. re: Allan Evans

        Which Persian restaurants would you recommend Allan? Still intereste din afghani, but Persian is good as well.

        1. re: Jayask

          The only wonderful place, wholeheartedly recommended, is outside of Philadelphia (for particulars, have to contact a Persian friend- and wonderful cook - who took me there, it might be on an old message). In Manhattan Nader was just OK. Flushing once enjoyed Hafez, which was outstanding and even made dishes off-menu if asked in advance (albaloo polo - rice with cherries and grilled chicken). There are some kosher places in the carpet district off Fifth Avenue in the 30's, but the lack of yogurt and butter in the meat dishes disturbs me (how can a tahdig - undercrust on rice - be made with - ugh - vegetable oil), but they may be worth checking out. Once you are acquainted with good Persian food, the Afghani becomes less interesting.

    2. my fave was always Speengar on 69th just south of roosevelt. I gave it a good review in my book, but haven't visited since, and there've been a couple reports of decline. I'm due for a check-up. Anybody been lately?

      it's a LOT more authentic than those kebab houses. serves a mostly native clientele. Do NOT bring in alcohol, by the way!

      1. Sorry about the late reply Jayask...

        Try Bahar on QB just west of Grand Ave.

        Great mandoo (my favorite) and very solid dishes in general. Not ethereal, but should satisfy your cravings.

        2 Replies
        1. re: wayne

          Have you tried the Bahar in Brooklyn? If you like the qb location, the Brooklyn one is a couple of notches above it from my experience.

          1. re: dhs

            The one on Queens Blvd has been real weak my last few visits, I think it hit its high mark a few years ago. Most of the meat was overcooked on my last visits and the service horrible.

        2. Yes, yes, yes! Check out Kabul Grill on Queens Blvd. in the Briarwood section (three stops past Forest Hills on the E or F). About a year old, this place is completely authentic. The food is simply sublime. The appetizers are delicious (mantoo, ashak, bolani, sambosa), and the meats are incredible. (The lamb can be hit or miss, though.) Also, check out the qabeli palaw--you can order rice with the qabeli topping with one of the kofta kebabs, even though it is not on the menu. Since it's new and a bit out of the way, especially for the gastronomically-adventurous set, chances are you will have the place to yourself if you go. A shame, too, since the food is a true delight.

          5 Replies
          1. re: NYC Eater

            I just picked up the menu at Kabul Grill. Maybe part of their problem is they're confused. They certainly have me confused. Their name is "Kabul". You posted to a thread on "Afghani" restaurants. Their menu says "Fine Persian Dining". I know they're similar but some people are looking for one rather than the other. I'll probably try it over the weekend. Do you know if they have Bolani Kadu, pumpkin filled turnovers?

            1. re: el jefe

              Huh, I never thought about that. And I've eaten there a ton (because I live nearby). I know that there are Persians all over the middle east. Maybe the owners are Persian Afghanis? I am pretty sure that the owners are Afghani, but I really don't know enough about either Afghani or Persian cuisine to be able to say which Kabul is? You could ask them...

              Let me know if you eat there; I would be curious to know what you think.

              1. re: NYC Eater

                I went and it's definitely Afghani, although I still don't understand to "Persian" reference. I thought the lamb shank in the Qabeli Palaw was excellent. I'm not a fan of Qabeli topping. It's too sweet for me, but my wife loves it. We also tried the "Lamb Spinach" and thought the spinach overpowered the lamb. The Beef Kofta was pretty good too. The entrees are all huge. For appetizers we tried the Mantoo, which we found ordinary, but we thought the Bolani was great -- fresh, hot and crispy.
                Service has been a little distant. Next time I'm in I'll try asking about the Afghani vs Persian question.

                1. re: el jefe

                  What's the atmosphere of this place, and any online menu? Prices? Thanks

                  1. re: janie

                    Kabul Grill is a small storefront on QB. It's bright and clean. There are about 10 tables but it's always empty. They'll turn the a/c on for you when they learn that you're not there for take-out.

                    Apps are $3.50 - 4.50, entrees are mostly $8.00 - $12.00.

                    I'd like to see them do well. It's something different for this neighborhood.

          2. Kabul Kabab on Main St. has always treated me well... great food, big portions too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rhydewithdis

              Kabul was also recommended to me by an Afghani worker at one of the Willets Point auto shops.

              1. re: Joe MacBu

                "Persia" is now comprised of modern day Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikstan (with a healthy dose of Uzbekistan). I think it mainly means that the restaurant in influenced more by the large Farsi-speaking population of Afghanistan than the Pashto-speaking segment.

                The two cuisines probably vary somewhat, but I imagine it's more like the difference between Tex-Mex and New Mexican food than the difference between Tex-Mex and Oaxacan food.

                For what it's worth the Bahar on CIA had a number of Persian dishes on the menu.

                Can anyone shed some more light on this subject.