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New vegetarian option in Quincy Square -- Has anyone tried Zains?

A friend just told me about this new restaurant on Hancock St in Quincy Square with loads of vegetarian options. The menu looks promising. Here's the site http://www.thezains.com/index.html has anyone tried it?

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  1. Wow, they have Kaddo...I wonder if it's as good as the Helmand?

    Thanks Pegmeister, I need to get over and try some of the food.

    1. The menu looks good, doesn't it? I believe they opened on March 1, give or take...

      1. Looks great! Thanks for the heads up. Have you actually passed by this place? I'm having a difficult time placing which store front this is. I want to try it tomorrow, Friday or sometime this weekend.

        5 Replies
        1. re: kobuta

          From the address and the map, it looks like it's at the corner of Hancock and Cottage Ave, either where Quincy Jade used to be, or on the other side, next to Terra Brasilis (possibly where the convenience store used to be). Across the street from Angelina's Pizza.

          1. re: mwk

            I have passed it--it's next to Terra Brasilis, as MWK suggested. Looks small and like it may be fairly casual, from a drive by. I can't wait to hear about it!

            1. re: SeaSide Tomato

              Thanks, now I get where it is. I've been feeling lazy to cook, so maybe a good option for tomrorow.

          2. re: kobuta

            Tried to get there last night, but it didn't work out, parking, weather etc. I'm hoping to get there at lunch tomorrow. I did check out the location though, it's near the Cottage Ave intersection. I think it may have been the old Pacinis location. I have my meal all picked out! If anyone goes please report back.

            1. re: Pegmeister

              Went last night. Couple of notes:
              - It is afghani
              - Tried the kaddo. It wasn't my favorite, but I have not gone to the Helmand, and have no point of reference for what it should taste like.
              - Had the rack of lamb with an eggplant side, and my wife had the chicken kabob with a spinach side. Not the most adventurous of options, but we were both very happy with our meals. The lamb was flavorful and well cooked.
              - We took it to go - not much atmosphere to speak of...
              - We were the only ones there and it felt like we had a personal chef. they were very friendly.
              Overall, a nice new option in my opinion. Look forward to other thoughts.

          3. Thanks for the head's up. Looks fabulous. Is this cuisine afghani or another?

            1 Reply
            1. re: whops

              It is Afghani. I went and it was good, my meat was slightly too cooked, and the soup was slightly boring, but over all good, and the aushak were good, and the samosas were slightly salty but good, and the garlic yogurt sauce was good.
              So, not as good as The Helmand, but cheaper and close. No bread though.
              They are apparently in 'test opening' and they will add delivery and online ordering and maybe tweak the menu a little bit.

              So a cool addition to the south shore dining scene, hopefully they add something to their signs saying that it is Afghani, and hopefully people here will be curious enough to give it a shot. And hopefully they will get some normal height tables, instead of just high ones.

            2. Hi,

              Tried it for lunch this afternoon. Actually, I was talking to the chef, and he said that the owners are not Afgani, but from Uzbekistan. I don't know how much difference that makes to the cuisine. They also told me they are using only kosher meat, to make their halal clients happy, I suppose.

              Anyway, the meal was delicious for the most part. I loved the kaddo. It wasn't quite the same as what you get at Helmand, but it was tender and sweet and very "pumpkiny". We also had the aushak, which is a delicate ravioli stuffed with leeks and garlic, and served with a yogurt mint sauce and a lamb meat sauce over it. That was my favorite.

              We also tried the Qabelee, which was lamb chunks in a rice mixture. I liked the rice itself much better than the lamb, which was overcooked for my taste. The rice was flavored with cinnamon and had raisins and carrots in it.

              Finally, we had the Chapli Kebab, which was delicious, but a bit overcooked. It was ground beef patties flavored with mint and parsley and chilis.

              Overall, everything was good, although I'd just get the rice (Pallow rice) next time, and skip the lamb. Also, be warned if you go, he seemed to be not serving about half of what's on the menu. And, at least when I went, everything was cooked to order, even so far as to make the Aushak while I watched them. So, it took a while to get the food. I'd call ahead if you are in a hurry.

              However they were very nice, and I think it's a great addition to the local dining scene. Definitely worth checking out.