HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

The Helmand or Ambassador Dining Room?

j
jrussd Nov 6, 2007 04:18 AM

Some friends and I are looking at a place to get together for the holidays, just to celebrate and enjoy each other's company. We have limited our choices to either The Helmand or Ambassador Dining room. I've heard great things about each. We're primarily concerned with it being moderately priced and casual-to-business casual atmosphere. If you had to pick, which one would you go to? Appreciate the help! Thanks!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. sistereurope RE: jrussd Nov 6, 2007 04:24 AM

    I've been to both, and if I had to choose I'd choose The Helmand. It has the atmosphere you described, and I prefer the food there.

    1. m
      matt8313 RE: jrussd Nov 6, 2007 04:52 AM

      I agree with sistereurope. Food at the Ambassador is only okay, even if the atmosphere is lovely. The food at the Helmand is some of my favorite in town.

      1. ko1 RE: jrussd Nov 6, 2007 05:37 AM

        I like both. I like Helmand better.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ko1
          baltoellen RE: ko1 Nov 6, 2007 06:05 AM

          I need to agree with the above posters. If you're going for atmosphere, it's The Ambassador hands down, but the food is just mediocre. The food is fantastic at the Helmand, and the atmosphere is 'nice.'

        2. aussiewonder RE: jrussd Nov 6, 2007 07:17 AM

          Guess I'm in the minority then. While I do enjoy the food @ the Helmand, the menu is smaller and thus, more limiting than the Ambassador. Plus, I really love the the space of the Ambassador, I find the Helmand to be a little more cramped and noisy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: aussiewonder
            p
            paulyr RE: aussiewonder Nov 6, 2007 10:47 AM

            I agree, Helmand = noisy. Not the place I'd go to catch up with friends, in that respect. You do get better food and better value at The Helmand.

          2. k
            kcnkate RE: jrussd Nov 6, 2007 09:51 AM

            I'd go with the Helmand in the winter, since the best time to eat at the Ambassador is in the summer when the garden is in full bloom. But, really, either one is a good choice, especially if you are dining with vegetarians. And if you go to the Helmand, please oh please try the pumpkin appetizer. It is so good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kcnkate
              ko1 RE: kcnkate Nov 6, 2007 11:02 AM

              The pumpkin definitely is a must-have, as are the lambchops, IMHO.

              1. re: ko1
                t
                tartuffe RE: ko1 Nov 6, 2007 02:38 PM

                All of the comments are accurate. helmand has better food and value, but, in good weather, The Amb is a lovely place. I have also had service probs there

            2. r
              Roland Parker RE: jrussd Nov 7, 2007 04:30 AM

              The Helmand is exceedingly noisy. I go there perhaps every two months, and it's always crowded and deafening, which one doesn't really expect from a restaurant of the Helmand's caliber and its clientele. But the lack of barriers and poor acoustics makes talking to your fellow diners difficult at times.

              I'm not sure why people describe the food at the Ambassador as mediocre-it's a place I also frequent on a regular basis and I'm always satisfied. The menu represents your typical rich North Indian restaurant foods found at most Indian restaurants, but without the excessive oil and grease one sometimes find. That said, the Ambassador is certainly more expensive than the Helmand, and the latter is probably the best bargain for its price range in Baltimore (if you can tolerate the noise).

              1. aussiewonder RE: jrussd Nov 7, 2007 06:55 AM

                In addition to the acoustics, IMO the overall ambiance esp the furnishings (large, comfy chairs) are more inviting to a long and leisurely meal @ the Ambassador. The chairs @ the Helmand aren't the kind you can relax into with a cocktail and catch up. That being said, I also think the Ambassador is really cosy and festive during the holiday season. With all this talk about the ambience, don't think that I don't go for the food too, it's delisch!

                1 Reply
                1. re: aussiewonder
                  t
                  tartuffe RE: aussiewonder Nov 7, 2007 02:02 PM

                  Rhe Ambas is a very nice place to eat. The food has no excitement at all. In b=more the various Bombays and Akbar (to a lesser extent) do have food you want to go out for.

                Show Hidden Posts