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Apr 11, 2013 10:17 AM

Afghan Kabob Express - Albany

My husband and son are huge fans of Manhattan’s food carts, particularly the ubiquitous hallal carts that serve up platters of chicken, gyro and falafel over rice with “white sauce” and “red sauce”. I’m personally not a fan of the “white sauce”, as it is mayonnaise based, and I much prefer tzatziki sauce with that type of food. Regardless, when we heard that a place had opened that served this type of food, husband and son were very excited.
We went recently but, sadly, were disappointed. We ordered the “Bolani” appetizer (a thin crust stuffed with potato and green onion). It was tasty, but was so thin that it left us wanting more of the tasty filling. The menu says the Bolani is served with yogurt and “chatni” [chutney?], but no yogurt was ever brought to the table and the chatni was so watery that it was off-putting.
For entrees we ordered a Gyro Pita and two Gyro-over-rice platters. Yes, we really did plan to order different things so that we could try a broader selection, but we all love gyro meat and couldn’t resist. We should have resisted. Everything was perfectly fine EXCEPT the gyro meat. Nice fluffy pita, fluffy nicely-seasoned rice, fresh lettuce and tomato. But the gyro meat, rather than being substantial slices (e.g., sliced off the cone), had been chopped into tiny bits and cooked so much that they were almost hard. The right flavor seemed to be in there, but it was like eating rubber chunks.
Husband and son were also disappointed with the “white sauce”. The many versions they’ve had in Manhattan have all been pretty similar; mayonnaise based sauce with a vinegary tang. Unfortunately, they found the Kabob Express version to be sweet rather than vinegary.

So, would we go back? Yes, we may try it one more time and try other menu items; chicken, falafel, lamb kabobs. When we were there the place was almost filled with people who appeared to be very happily enjoying their meals. The prices are very reasonable and the plates with meats other than gyro looked pleasing.

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  1. Thanks for the review. Sorry you didn't have a great experience, though. Where is this place?

    4 Replies
    1. re: AmyH

      It's on Central Avenue, next door to Van's. That in itself may cause a problem for us in returning. Once within the magnetic field of Van's, it's difficult to force our feet to take us anywhere else.

      1. re: fisher

        Oh! I've seen it. Previously it was a halal restaurant serving a wide variety of foods from different countries . I never saw anyone in there then, and haven't seen anyone in there for its current iteration. Like you, and apparently many others, the magnetic field of Van's really is too difficult to resist.

        We really miss the Afghan place that used to be in Latham in the Peter Harris Plaza. There was one in Schenectady that we never got to try and I believe they're closed, too.

        Not quite the same as Afghan, but you might want to try Ali Baba up in Troy for similar food (if you haven't yet). The food there is always wonderful.

        1. re: AmyH

          Yes, we've been to Ali Baba many times and enjoy it. Thank you for the suggestion. We did make it to the Afghan place in Schenectady before it closed, but really weren't all that impressed and didn't go back. The new moroccan place in Schenectady, Tara Kitchen, is lovely. We were there over the winter and will definitely return.

          1. re: fisher

            We've been meaning to go to Tara Kitchen. I love Moroccan food. Have you been to Phoenecians (probably spelled wrong) on Central? We've had some great meals there and some less great.