12 June 2009

Bahar Restaurant

afghanistan

A tandoor oven might dominate the restaurant when you walk in if it was not for all the purple neon that lines the windows and beautiful old carpets that decorate the walls. I had some time to look around as I had arrived early and was waiting for a friend. The traditional Afghan green tea ($1.50, below) and pita bread kept me busy while I enjoyed the room and all the activity of the restaurant. Despite being one of two patrons, the dining room was pervaded with sounds of cooking from the kitchen and the male workers were walking in and out constantly.


I was offered a picture menu while I waited, but refused it in shyness, trying to act as if I knew everything on the menu already. I don't know that photos would have helped in the end, but it would have been fun to see anyway. What we did decide on was from very complete (and mouth-watering) descriptions that came under each selection. The sabzymast ($5.95, below) is an appetizer of spinach, cooked with onions, garlic, and probably many other spices and herbs, all mixed with a yogurt sauce. We were not sure how to go at it and ordered a side dish of white rice.


Another appetizer called fesenjon ($5.95, below) was probably our favorite dish of the day. Tempted by the pomegranate sauce and walnut, the chicken was also sweet and sour, and the dish had a sharp but delicious taste. We finished off this plate first and were both eyeing the last bites but trying not to be rude.



Before coming, I was most anxious to try the items listed in the "traditional Afghan pastas" section of the menu, thinking I had never had anything like them. While that remains true, we both felt like the dish we ordered called ashi gooshti ($9.95, above) was somewhat of a letdown. The homemade noodles were so well-cooked that they had little taste and almost melted in your mouth, while the ground beef, chickpeas, and yogurt sauce on top lacked the kick of the other dishes we had already consumed.


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