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Sep 21, 2009 02:56 PM

Helmand - how good is it?

I have heard the Boston Helmand is one of the best Afghans in the country but I was underwhelmed by blandnes at its Baltimore brother. esp in the rice dishes like kabuli pulal. Ive seen mixed reports on the site too. Any recent comment on the tastiness/spicing of Helmand's food and recommendation of best dishes beyond pumpkin and eggplant?

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  1. It's pretty tame overall, and the atmosphere really screams "I am trying hard to be classy." I don't find it to be a particularly enjoyable eating experience.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Luther

      Wow, I couldn't disagree more. I have always had flavorful and pleasant meals there. Is the decor cutting edge? No. But I find it a warm, satisfying place to get some food I can't find anywhere else in town to my satisfaction.

      I like the rack of lamb, the leek ravioli, and the dwopiaza quite a bit. Actually, all of the lamb dishes are pretty awesome.

      1. re: Luther

        I agree. the food is wonderfull but the atmosphere is just weird.

      2. Love the ashak (leek ravioli) and banjan (eggplant), find the pumpkin too sweet. Adore the rack of lamb. Like Oleana, I think the flavors here are somewhat subtle, which could translate to bland for some. Things may have changed but for quite awhile a reservation was a must for Helmand and I don't recall a bar area.

        2 Replies
        1. re: GretchenS

          Agree that the rack of lamb is really good and at a good price point to boot. And thank goodness, i thought i'm the only one out there that found their much beloved pumpkin dish 'kaddo?' to be too sweet to be a savory appetizer.

          1. re: GretchenS

            I totally agree with GretchenS' posting. Helmand is still a very nice place to go every few months for dinner.

          2. I don't have a sweet tooth, but enjoyed their kaddo. The key to the sweetness is using the yogurt sauce it comes with to mellow the flavors out.

            Nothing we had was particularly overwhelmingly spicy (as with Indian food), but I found everything to be well-flavored. My friend had a one of the fish dishes (which we all were skeptical of) but it was really tasty. Another ordered a chicken dish (no kebab, but it had that subtle flavoring of kebabs) and the chicken was so flavorful and moist - really good. Unfortunately, I don't recall the names of the dishes. I personally like the food a lot, and find it to be very reasonably priced for a solid dining experience.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kobuta

              I eat their wonderful flatbread and then just wanna walk out because I'm full. All their dishes are pretty good but I haven't found any place with better lamb.

              1. re: joebloe

                I'll have to agree that their lamb dishes are really outstanding and always perfectly cooked. But yes, the flatbread is addictive!

            2. Echoing what others have said -- I've had lamb dishes there several times and I've always been very happy, especially with the rack of lamb.

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