Afghan Kabob House might be owner Akbar Madany’s first business venture, but the seasoned restaurant manager knows how to appeal to curious palates.
The restaurant is barely a month old, having replaced another typical Clarendon corridor style bistro, and sits a block away from the Court House Metro stop; talk about convenient. But convenience is only one treat.
It took several visits to sample a large swath of the menu, from the kabobs, upon which of course the restaurant has staked its name and main fare, to the myriad assortment of other fine entrees and sides.
The menu is saturated with options, and the food abounds with flavors that combine distinct elements from the Middle East and India. After all, Afghanistan rests at the nexus of so many cuisines, one should expect diversity.
The slow-roasted meats are perfectly prepared – the salmon kabob ($12.95) was impressive, with succulent morsels of fresh Atlantic salmon marinated in a variety of spices and herbs, and served on freshly made, kneaded and baked Tandoori Naan flat bread. The salmon is so good that one might be forgiven ordering more, were it not for the sheer size of the entire meal.
The same can be said of the Kabob House’s other meats, particularly the ubiquitous, though never disappointing lamb kabob – choose tenderloin ($10.95) or chops ($12.95).
In addition to the bountiful portion of skewered meat comes a side of rice, vegetable, salad and chutney.
In all, there are four varieties of rice, several vegetable side dishes and several more meat curries, salad selections, creamy hommus and the chutneys, which range from tangy and hot to a light cucumber-yogurt sauce. One can’t overlook a choice of fruit, too, as a salad option.
The quality of the vegetable side dishes, which can be ordered as entrees in several different menu options, deserves a special spotlight.
The potato curry and chickpea and cauliflower dishes carried a subtly sweet and spicy taste, while the mashed lentils seemed fairly flowery. Any of them are sound choices for a side ($2.25 each), but with the salmon kabob, the steamed spinach complimented the flavor best. As a meal, they provide patrons, armed with rice, naan and chutneys, with plenty of pleasant gustatory experimentation.
To finish the meal, the kitchen offers the sweet, flaky delicacy, baklava ($1.95).
Whatever selection from the menu, patrons are guaranteed three basics: quality, mouthwatering meat (or for the vegetarian, dependable falafel for $6.95), fresh vegetables and naan and, lastly, a unique, delicious experience for the Court House neighborhood.
Add to the mix the Kabob House’s authentic décor inside, with three Afghani kites lining a far wall of the restaurant, and the homey atmosphere only appreciates.
These elements combine to make Afghan Kabob House a young, rising star in a neighborhood that desperately needs more places with equal commitment to quality and innovation.
What’s more, through the Doctor Delivery food service, patrons can enjoy the establishment’s fare from afar, with a modest $2.99 delivery fee. Access the menu online at www.drdelivery.com or by calling 703-524-0800.