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Afghan restaurant! ? (Tempe, AZ)

anakalia Oct 1, 2007 03:01 PM

Hi everyone,
As I was driving on Elliot west of Rural? I'm not exactly sure where, but I saw a little restaurant called Kabob Palace -- afghan dining (I'm not 100% positive on the name) in a strip mall. It looked like maybe it hasn't opened yet. Anyhow, I'm not sure if this place will just be serving kabobs, or if it will have other types of Afghan cuisine.. but I'm feeling hopeful.

Has anyone heard of this place?

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  1. winedubar RE: anakalia Oct 1, 2007 03:17 PM

    i hadn't heard of it yet, i hope its great!! i loved the afghani food i tried in the bay area while i lived there. good stuff!!!

    1. z
      ziggylu RE: anakalia Oct 1, 2007 03:24 PM

      THe sign's been up for a while. Don't think it's open yet. we're looking forward to trying it...there was an afghani place in seattle we really liked.

      1. m
        Minx RE: anakalia Oct 1, 2007 03:48 PM

        saw that as well..It's near Sushi Eye and a stone's throw from Fascinations..Can't wait for it to open.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Minx
          ValleyFever RE: Minx Oct 1, 2007 04:09 PM

          so its right in chain food alley?

          good luck to 'em!

        2. m
          Minx RE: anakalia Oct 25, 2007 04:28 PM

          Looks like it is now open..

          2 Replies
          1. re: Minx
            cowateni RE: Minx Oct 26, 2007 12:51 PM

            I tried to get the g/f to try it the other day...no luck. Looks like a place I'll have to try by myself.

            1. re: cowateni
              ValleyFever RE: cowateni Oct 26, 2007 01:32 PM

              sounds like we have similar gfs. I'll have to take mine one day after work when we have no plans, so she can go home and shower afterwards.

          2. m
            Minx RE: anakalia Oct 26, 2007 04:39 PM

            So L and I went to the Kabob Palace (that's the name) for dinner last night. We arrived around 7 pm and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The last time I had Afghan food was in India over 7 years ago and my memory was hazy.

            While waiting for L to arrive - I ordered the Aushak which is a scallion and leak filled ravoli covered with meat (beef) sauce and yogurt as a starter. I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

            Although perhaps a little took oniony for me - I enjoyed the tangyness of the yogurt in contrast to the beef sauce. We mopped it up with bread that came on the side.

            L orderd the Kofta Kabob (ground beef mixed with green onion, fresh cilantro garlic and then grilled) and I had the Mourgh Challow (Chicken breast sauteed with spices and yellow split-peas).

            I have to say that I enjoyed the Kofta Kabob (possibly the best Kabob I have ever had in my life) more then my Mourgh.

            The Kofta Kabob was tender, juicy and delicious. The waiter told us that they prepare everything fresh from when you order it. So while we were waiting, they were in the back adding spices and preparing the kabob before it was grilled.

            I also found out that the owner/chef originally owned an Afghani restaurant in the Bay Area before he moved here.

            But back to the food - my Mourgh was good. I was expecting something more spicy like an Indian curry which it was not. I'd rate it as ok...Next time I'll get the Kofta Kabob.

            Both dishes were served wtih Challow (rice) and the Kofta Kabob came with an eggplant dish as well..

            Unfortunately they were out of the Rice pudding or I would have had that for dessert.

            I'll go back for the Kabob..

            1. m
              Milt RE: anakalia Nov 22, 2007 06:55 AM

              This thread is interesting. What city are talking about - in case I ever get there?

              7 Replies
              1. re: Milt
                Seth Chadwick RE: Milt Nov 22, 2007 07:21 AM

                Phoenix metro, specifically the East Valley.

                1. re: Milt
                  Pat Hammond RE: Milt Nov 22, 2007 08:00 AM

                  Googling around makes me think Phoenix is the city. Maybe someone who actually lives there will verify!

                  1. re: Pat Hammond
                    ziggylu RE: Pat Hammond Nov 22, 2007 08:39 AM

                    Tempe, AZ

                    1. re: ziggylu
                      Milt RE: ziggylu Nov 23, 2007 04:14 PM

                      Thank you! That's great news because my wife has family in Mesa and Tempe.

                      1. re: Milt
                        anakalia RE: Milt Nov 24, 2007 03:16 PM

                        We still haven't made it over there to try -- to anyone who has been there, are there any vegetarian options? I know a great Afghan place in Wisconsin I used to eat at had veg versions of the ashak, as well as some other veg dishes. Anything like that at this place??

                        1. re: anakalia
                          1wino RE: anakalia Nov 29, 2007 10:52 AM

                          I've eaten here several times since it opened in October and highly recommend it, especially for the lunch buffet. However, the vegetarian options are slim. The buffet on Monday included a veggie khourma, a pile of well-cooked vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, potatoes, etc. in a tomato and oil sauce. It was good, but not as good as the meat dishes. I also love their baby pumpkin, but it's too sweet for me to eat too much. The spinach was rather bland. Even their soups, which are awesome, are made with lamb stock. The owner, who waits tables, is exceptionally friendly -- you might want to call and ask if the chef can prepare some of the dishes meat-free if you give some notice. I bet he would, especially with something like the ashak. They also serve a terrific lentil side dish with some of the entrees and you might be able to get that, too. Oh, the desserts here are to die for, especially the green tea custard. They're waiting on their liquor license and should have it by early December, the owner told me.

                          1. re: anakalia
                            ziggylu RE: anakalia Mar 7, 2008 06:37 PM

                            this is a long while after you asked, but there is a vegetarian aushak on the menu

                  2. s
                    saulbass RE: anakalia Nov 30, 2007 08:46 AM

                    Does anyone have the street address and/or the phone number to the place? The only Kabob Palace I was able to find through Google seems to be located on Northern and 27th Ave.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: saulbass
                      Minx RE: saulbass Nov 30, 2007 01:34 PM

                      710 W Elliot Rd
                      Tempe, AZ 85284
                      (480) 775-6288

                      1. re: Minx
                        1wino RE: Minx Dec 29, 2007 12:52 PM

                        FYI: It's spelled Kabab Palace, in case anyone needs to look it up again.

                      2. re: saulbass
                        jayheimer RE: saulbass Jan 18, 2008 12:45 PM

                        It is spelled Kabab Palace and is on the NW corner of Elliot Rd and Kyrene
                        next to the gas station. We have eaten there 3 times and everything we tried
                        was excellent!!!

                      3. s
                        saulbass RE: anakalia Jan 18, 2008 02:43 PM

                        i've been there twice now and both times, the food was excellent.

                        1. z
                          ziggylu RE: anakalia Mar 7, 2008 06:27 PM

                          I never got out to pick up the fish that was supposed to be dinner tonight...so pondering what we'd have instead we finally remembered this place. We've been wanting to try and never think of it...

                          We had a really great meal here tonight! It's a charming little place...beautiful blue tapestry chairs, old fashioned brass and crystal chandeliers, Afghani art and traditional textiles and garments hanging on the wall.

                          We started with a couple iced teas while we pondered the menu(they do now have a liquor license as well). Everything looked delicious to us and we couldn't really decide so we asked the server to suggest some things.

                          Going with her suggestion we started with the baby pumpkin appetizer. This came out on a cart(everything is brought to the table on cart by the server) with some afghani bread and three condiments: a cilantro walnut sauce, a chile sauce, and a yogurt mint sauce. I agree the pumpkin a bit on the sweet side. I thought it was too sweet for me but I tried it with the various condiments and found that the chile sauce balaced the sweetness for me and I enjoyed it very much this way.

                          We both agreed the bread wasn't very special...it's a flat bread which I normally love but this was bland and a bit on the cardboardy side. On the positive side, this kept us from filling up on bread.

                          I went with the Chowpan which is three chops from the rack. Being greek I LOVE lamb and I REALLY love lamb chops. These were fantastic. Well marinated, tender and perfectly grilled. It took every bit of self-restraint to not pick up the bones and gnaw every last delicious morsel off of them(I admit I do this at home). Along with the chops came pallow rice which was a pilaf made with cardamom, cumin and cinnamon - three of my favorite spices. There was also eggplant that had been sauteed with peppers and tumeric. Under the chops was another type of afghani bread...a very thin paper like flat bread. This was crisp on its own but absorbed juices from teh lamb and was actually quite tasty.

                          Husband went with the Koufta kabob mentioned above. I'm not a huge fan of kofta myself but this was very well made....so often it's dried out and overcooked. This was tender, juicy and full of flavor. This also came with the eggplant and paperlike flatbread but had a different pilaf which was seasoned with just cumin. The less seasoned pilaf was a better compliment with the highly seasoned kabob than the pilaf that went with my entree though on it's own I preferred the version with the cardamom and cinnamon.

                          With great willpower I left one of my chops suspecting they had rice pudding. Upon asking we were thrilled to hear they did and order one along with some turkish coffee. The coffee came first and was prepared tableside and included some cardamom. It was great. The rice pudding was very rich...seemed ot have been made from cream. It was made with cardamom and pistachio...the flavor was excellent. It was served a bit too cold for me but after we let it sit a bit it was fine.

                          The service was very attentive all night. It was the owner, his daughter and possibly another of his daughters(he mentioned that the one was his daughter and it was her first night working there). Drinks were never left more than half empty. When our entrees came out the server came to see how we liked everything and offered to change anything out if we didn't like what she suggested(not necessary at all!). Everyone was very friendly and hospitable. Prices were reasonable. Our bill was $60 before tax and tip. My lamb chops were the most expensive item at $22, most range from $10-$15.

                          I'm sorry it's taken so long for us to get in here, we've really been missing out. Apparently others have as well...it was 6:45 on a Friday and we were the second table....when we left at 7:45 there was only a third...in this part of town they weren't going to get a big rush after we left. I hope he's doing a steady lunch business and I hope he's not struggling.

                          If you're on this side of town and haven't tried it yet...do stop in and give it a try. We're looking forward to trying more of the menu ourselves!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: ziggylu
                            hohokam RE: ziggylu Mar 7, 2008 06:42 PM

                            Thanks for the detailed and well-written report. We might have a Tempe dinner outing in the works, so it's good to know about this place.

                            Kabab Palace
                            710 W Elliot Rd, Tempe, AZ

                            1. re: ziggylu
                              silverbear RE: ziggylu Mar 7, 2008 07:29 PM

                              After two visits, I concur. Everything has been great except the bread, which I agree is non-descript. It was a long fifteen years that Phoenicians waited for an Afghan restaurant to replace early '90s favorite Chopandaz, but now that we have an Afghan restaurant again, I'm thankful that it's a good one.

                              1. re: ziggylu
                                Doug in Mesa RE: ziggylu Mar 9, 2008 09:47 AM

                                I made my initial visit at late-lunchtime last week, after 1, and the place was packed. The lunch buffet was wonderful and $10 didn't seem unreasonable for what they offered. I'm planning to take Judy to dinner there soon.

                                1. re: Doug in Mesa
                                  ziggylu RE: Doug in Mesa Mar 9, 2008 11:22 AM

                                  I'm glad to hear it does good business at lunch! I was hoping that was the case.

                                  Two days later and I'm already craving those lamb chops again...!

                              2. bortukan RE: anakalia Mar 14, 2008 11:07 AM

                                In case anyone is debating what time of day to try this place-- I've been for both lunch and dinner, and found the dishes to be slighly better at dinner than out of the lunch buffet steam trays (not surprisingly!). The dinner menu also has a variety of noodle and dumpling options that aren't part of the buffet (I love the aushak), including a larger selection of vegetarian items.

                                Lunch is a good time to try a lot of different dishes for around $10, and everything is still very tasty, but the individual dishes aren't quite as good as the dinner versions and there's a bit less vegetarian fare.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bortukan
                                  silverbear RE: bortukan Mar 14, 2008 11:41 AM

                                  Agree on all counts. The buffet is okay for Afghan food 101, but dinner is when you can really appreciate the cooking and order the most interesting dishes. I believe that, unlike some restaurants, Kabab Palace allows customers to order from the menu at lunchtime if they desire.

                                2. starlightjulian RE: anakalia Jun 28, 2008 01:28 AM

                                  Finally visited this place yesterday. I enjoyed the lunch buffet very much! Included in the $10.95 buffet (plus tax, drinks excluded) are Aushak, Mourgh challow, Banjan,Sabzi, Seekh kabab, Khorma, Koufta (beef and chicken), and Feereney. My favorite items were Kaddo, baby pumpkin pan-fried then baked with sugar and covered with garlic mint yogurt and Qabelee, pallow rice with lamb, carrots, and raisins. The kaddo normally features ground beef, but the beef was missing in yesterday's buffet. It was my first time trying it, and I LOVED it! It was like dessert :D I'm sure the beef would taste great with it, but I enjoyed the dish as it was served. The qabelee was very flavorful...

                                  I cannot wait to return!

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