tried out this cambridge afghani place last nite in the midst of the downpours...reasonably satisfying, though i can't say it knocked my socks off. started with an app whose name i have promptly forgotten, but that consisted of scallions inside a couple of layers of a pastry similar to but thicker than phyllo. good texture, nice peppery flavor but a tad greasy--but not so much as to make it inedible. pretty solid. since i got soaked on my walk there, i ordered some chicken soup as well. this was fairly pedestrian, nice chunks of chicken and what seemed like frozen vegetables in a lemony broth. not bad (and warming), but fairly unthrilling. for a main dish i got beef boti kebab, and this was quite good--well spiced, tender chunks of beef accompanied by a toothsome and savory pile of rice. this entree was pretty excellent--easily the best thing that i got. (had a sweet lassi as well to drink--this was wonderful).
the so got the mixed vegetarian plate, she seemed pretty happy with it--all i tasted was the pumpkin, which was cooked well and had a nice flavor.
service is still definitely on a learning curve here--the staff is friendly, but seem a bit unsure of themselves and are often somewhat erratic. the room is pretty nice, though i'm unconvinced that the layout is ideal for ease of traffic flow between patrons and servers.
still and all, a good meal that wasn't tremendously expensive (though not cheap eats, either) and since it's the first week they get a pass on the unevenness of the service. i'll go back again i'm sure, though after a first try i'd say that cafe helmand is still the best afghani place in town. but i'm not complaining about having two choices.
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