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Aug 20, 2007 10:55 PM

Pamir Kebob House (Poway) - Great Afghan restaurant

My wife and I had the chance to eat at Pamir Kebob House on Poway Rd. (in the same mall as North Park Produce) last Friday and are both very impressed by the excellent Afghan food and service.

As appetizer we ordered a large sampler plate with 6-7 different Afghan specialities as aushak, hummus etc.. All of them were very good and gave a nice overview of the different choices on their menu. As entrees we choose different types of kabobs: My wife had a sampler of chicken, lamb and beef kebob with three types of rice (plain basmati, spinach basmati and tomato basmati) and spinach and peas as the vegetables. I have never tasted such a tender chicken before but all three kebabs were outstanding. The vegetable were very flavorful as were the three different rice. I had the special lamb kebob made from three pieces of the rack of lamb and a large salad. Again a perfect dish which showed the skills of the chef. Dessert was afghan rice pudding (with pistachios and a nice cardamom taste) and baklava. I might sound too uncritical but again nothing to critize about the desserts.

Overall it was a very impressive dinner but it was also sad to see that they only had very few customers for a Friday evening even though they deliver high quality food. It is not very often thay you go to a new restaurant not expecting much and then got surprised by a great dinner (The last time this happened was at Punjabi Tandoor). This restaurant will be on our regular rotation (there are also many entrees on the menu beside kabob, e.g. kofta palow, qabeli chalow) and it will be interesting to see if they can deliver this kind of quality on a regular basis.

Pamir Kabob House
12378 Poway Rd. #C
Poway, CA 92064

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  1. Honkman, is the Pamir Kebob House in the same space that the Garden Bistro occupied? More along Pomerado Road than Poway Road (despite the address)? If so, that location really has bad luck. The Garden Bistro was a nice restaurant, but they never were able to get the necessary traffic to survive. All I can say is that you better put it in heavy rotation, because it may not be around long, unless it bucks the trend.

    I have some friends that live nearby that I'll try to steer there.

    5 Replies
    1. re: RB Hound

      I have never tried Garden Bistro but googled it and it has the same address and you are correct that Pamir is more along Pomerado Road than Poway Road.

      1. re: RB Hound

        No, Garden Bistro was replaced by House on the Hill (it used to be a house, and it's on a hill), which is still a nice restaurant and has more of a steak and seafood menu. When we went, it still wasn't very full, but they have good happy hour specials and Wednesday night jazz, so maybe it picks up then.

        Pamir is in the complex with Big Lots, North Park Produce, and CVS but along the Pomerado side rather than the Poway Rd side. It's across Pomerado Rd from where Garden Bistro was.

        They really do have good food at decent prices. Their dumplings are really tasty but make for a light dinner entree. I had the lamb and sour cherries and it was wonderful. They also have a really good lunch special Monday through Saturday.

        1. re: leanneabe

          I don't want to get too tangential, but the place I am thinking of (Bistro Garden, Garden Bistro, something like that) was in the same complex as Big Lots, CVS, etc. The place across the street was something else (there is a pizza place there too, right?).

          At any rate, Pamir sounds like a decent place, and I hope it hangs around, but...

          1. re: RB Hound

            North, South,East and West sides of the street help me to understand. I remember NPP being on the North side of that road, whatever the name of it is the exit that when driving North on 15 has(or at least had) a giant "Sabre Springs" lettered on the NorthEast hill. Of course, if NPP moved then I don't know where you are talking about. :)

            1. re: Cathy

              Pamir is on the west side of Pomerado Road just north of Poway Road in a strip mall. They have a delivery van with their name parked out front most of the time. We loved the food, especially the pea side and the curry, and the restaurant is beautiful. A '10'!

      2. We, too enjoy Pamir but are mystified as to why the place is usually deserted. When we eat there, we are always glad to see other people come in. Most likely it's the location, because in my experience, it's not the food or the service. It's definately unique for Poway, and not the type of place that one might expect to find here.

        I have to say, I had a hard time getting my husband to go there the first time. He assumed that being a small family run place, the service would be slow. Not the case. After our first time there, he's a dedicated fan. Nice people there, and we've never been disappointed with the food either.
        My two kids love the chicken kabob plate, and oddly, even my picky eater asks to eat there. I'm addicted to the spicy chutney that they serve with the kebobs. It's probably the endorphin release. I hope that the place catches on, because there is nothing else like it around Poway.

        1. We've always had great food and service there. I usually get the green onion dumplings (I think it is the aushak) and love the sweet dugh. Their lamb is always very tender, too. I've only gone for late lunches and it seems like there are always about 3 other tables full and a number of people either coming in for to go orders. I'll have to make it in for dinner soon.

          1. The Mr. and I had lunch there today and everything was fantastic. We began with the sambosas, which were light, crisp and delicious. The cilantro chutney and yogurt sauce they were served with were both tasty. I had the combination plate (lamb stew, curry chicken & meatball w/ different types of rice & veggies) and he had the Pamir Special kebob (lamb, beef & chicken w/ various rice & veggies) and we shared bites so we could both try a wide variety of their offerings. All of the meat was tender and flavorful, although we both agree that the lamb stew was, by far, the most tender lamb either of us has tried. I'm no lamb expert, but he is and claims that it knocked his socks off. I loved both the chicken curry and the chicken kebob, marvelling at how tender they were. All of the various rice & veggie dishes were tasty and well prepared, and I really enjoyed the sour cherry rice. For dessert he asked if we could share a sampler of their offerings, which our hostess/owner/chef's wife happily obliged. We shared a cup of hot cherry blossom tea, the pistachio pudding, the rice pudding and a piece of baklava. Both of the puddings were outstanding, unique, creamy and quite rich. The baklava was still warm and to date, the best I have had. We were so stuffed we practically needed a crane to carry us out.

            Excellent service, great atmosphere and delicious food... I only hope the location doesn't keep them from succeeding. I know we plan to return and to pass the word along.

            1. We also LOVE this place. We've been here 3-4 times over the past year or so, even though it's far from where we live. We've traveled extensively in the Afghanistan region, so we often yearn for this type of cuisine and Pamir satisfies our cravings in the best way. Their dishes are so elegant and subtley flavored, yet also simple and kind of rustic in other ways.

              It's unfortunate that Pamir is in a strip mall, but the inside of the restaurant is as cozy and nice as it can be, and the food more than makes up for it, as does the kindness, care and expertise of its owners and chef, a husband/wife team. The husband cooks and the wife takes care of the front of the restaurant.

              Our kids love the mantu (similar to Russian manti but smaller), and we also love the lamb dishes and anything with the chicken kabob. I also recall having something similar to creamed spinach (but not made with heavy cream) that was so delicately and deliciously spiced. The baklava (called baghlawa here) is super yummy and fresh...I've never really loved baklava, but it's so worth having at Pamir.

              Go and enjoy!