i'm in the habit of taking my grandparents out to lunch regularly, and lately i've been delighted to find that their adventuresomeness has been undiluted by age. the fact that their retirement home serves them a constant stream of overtenderized underseasoned chinese food for seniors may help as well.
so last wknd i decided to push the envelope and go central asian. having sampled little kabul in the past and after reading 'the kite runner' i felt like it was time to reconnect with another bay area jewel, the afghani community of fremont.
yes, it's ramadan, but salang pass on fremont blvd. was still open, and absolutely desolate of customers. the proprietor joked that he was surprised his 'american' customers seemed to be observing the fast as well!
i'm sorry i forgot the names of the dishes, and neglected to take a menu. nevertheless, the meal was worth briefly describing to you all.
complementary salad and flat bread were served, then
- dumplings (mantoo?) stuffed with ground beef, covered in a zesty red sauce laced with cool yogurt. full, bright, balanced flavors and textures. quite good.
- lamb shank with sweet rice. the lamb was a bit dry, presumably from sitting around, but still tasty. the rice actually outshined it with it's alluring boquet of fragrant spices and addictive toothsome texture.
- spiced beef patties. minced and heavily spiced beef patties were fried and served on rice similar to the lamb's, but in a savory version. the exterior of the patties were lightly crunchy, and the bold spicing made this a winner for me.
friendly service, nice decor (huge mural and tented area), very tasty food.
ps, during ramadan they offer a sunset buffet from 7-8 pm only, for a paltry $11. wow.