Wanna try Afghan....
I'll be on the west side in the 50's this evening, and was debating between Arianna or Afghan Kebab House, both of which are on Ninth Ave in the 50's. Menus look similar.
Anyone have a strong preference for either one? Also, it appears that the Kebab House has a BYOB policy. Anyone know offhand about Arianna?
In my experience both were very good. I do know that the Afghan Kebab House that used to be on 46th Street was extremely slow. I haven't been to the one on Ninth Ave. for some time.
If you have never eaten Afghan, one thing you must try is aushak, a chive dumpling served with a yogurt & chopped meat sauce, usually available as an appetizer.
re: Lisa M
I ended up going to Ariana the other night. I had the aushak, which is described as "boiled dumplings..." but did not resemble round dumplings as I've had them in other cuisines. It was basically a flat noodle on the bottom of the plate, topped w/ground beef in a tomato-flavored sauce, and yogurt. Tasty, but not quite what I expected. For the main course, I had kabuli palow, made with lamb, which was delicious. The brown basmati rice was seasoned well (but not at all spicy; I used some of the hot sauce on the table to punch it up), and the lamb chunks were tender and flavorful.
I really enjoyed my meal, but now I have to try Afghan Kebab House too, after reading the favorable reviews!
I haven't been in a few years now, but for kebabs anyway, Afghan Kebab on the west side of 9th was "always" (10 years previous) much better than Arianna IMO. No reason in particular stands out, just better flavor and more tender meat. And better rice. One word of caution, the lamb kebabs tend to be overly gnarly, ironically, so stick with the beef. But that's not unusual in the city - good "cheap" lamb is hard to come by.
I thought the one on 46th was actually bad overall. I never did figure out what the connection if any among them all was but the ones on Ninth were around first. (Somewhere unexpected, I came across yet another Afghan Kebab Number "X", but don't remember where now.)
My SO and I love, love, love the Afghan Kebab House on the east side of 9th. We recommend the eggplant appetizer, the sambosa (sp?), the combo kebab (the lamb is tender and flavorful and the chicken is grilled to perfection and juicy), and MUST have a side order of the stew. SOOOOO good.
the only afghan cuisine I've had is at Bamiyan. I've been a couple of times (being that its in the neighborhood) but have nothing to compare it to. Nice enough place. Good food.
Bamiyan is hit or miss. I've been twice and once the pumpkin appetizer was great and fresh, the other time they definintely canned it.
I also don't like the fact you have to pay $1 for a piece of bread. Hopefully they changed that-how else do you munch on the hummous?