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Afghan Grill, Woodley Park - Kabobs and Afghan Specials on Calvert Street


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I have walked past The Afghan Grill many times and given its location, next to a Philly sub shop and manicure place, I always thought it was your typical mom and pop divey kabob joint. It is far from that! Handsomely dressed with Afghan artifacts, the restaurant works well as a date place, parent place, or catching up with friends place...at very reasonable prices.

dinner starts with a basket of sesame topped flat breads, not really naan nor pita, but toasted and tasty with a spicy green dipping sauce, heavy with chilies and mint. we started with an order of the bulanne, a leek stuffed turnover, nothing spectacular, but nicely fried with a thick yogurt dipping sauce. I went with a lamb kabob that obviously had been marinanting for hours and cooked perfectly medium rare...delicious. It came with your standard scattering of charred tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions and rice topped with dollop of pureed spinach. Get some extra green dipping sauce that comes with the bread, it's well worth it for mixing in with the kabobs and rice!

My only complaints: Many hard surfaces makes for a loud room and the tiny AC unit couldn't keep up... Overall, a nice little restaurant, well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Picture isn't the best but...

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Afghan Grill is a great place. I highly recommend any appetizer or entree with pumpkin in it. The pumpkin is sauteed and tastes delicious with the grilled meats and yogurt sauces. The prices are cheap too for a sit down restaurant.

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I couldn’t agree more. If your server doesn’t automatically bring the bread and dipping sauce, make sure you ask – it’s fantastic . The sauce reminds me of Argentine chimichurri sauce, with cilantro (I think). I often split the Afghani salad as a starter – the mint dressing raises it above the typical chopped salad (and the fresh vegetables make me feel better about all that bread I’ve just eaten). My favorite entree is the kadu buranee, sauteed pumpkin with garlic yogurt and ground beef. It’s pretty sweet, so for some the appetizer portion might be more appealing. I’ve also enjoyed the sabzi chalao, spinach simmered in garlic, onions, tomato and peppers, with lamb (like many of the choices, it can also be ordered as a vegetarian dish), as well as the chicken kabobs, which are always surprisingly moist. Many of the dishes come with saffron flavored rice.

By the way, this is the same location as what used to be Khyber Pass. If I remember correctly, it changed owners around August 2001, a potentially inauspicious time. I’m so glad that it has done well – I think it’s the best restaurant in Woodley Park (faint praise, perhaps, but even so . . . ).

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I went to Afghan Grill last night for the first time and wasn't sure what to expect since I'd never had Afghani food before. I very much enjoyed my whole meal though! As stated above, the bread and green sauce are an excellent beginning to the meal.

My favorite entree is the kadu buranee, sauteed pumpkin with garlic yogurt and ground beef.

On recommendation from a couple of sources I had the Kadu as my entree and was not disappointed. I would definitely get it again if I returned. I'm not always the biggest fan of pumpkin, but the savory way this was prepared was delicious with the garlic, yogurt and meat sauce on top. Even the plan looking rice on the side was so flavorful that it was great all on its own!

Now that I know where the Grill is I will hopefully be back before long. Too bad it's on the other side of town!

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I went there with three other people roughly two months ago. Two of us had a 'veggie sampler' type plate. It's funny, the kadu was my least favorite, although the others at the table probably liked it the most. I think we had the veggie 'turnovers' (not their proper name) for appetizers. I thought they were good, but not great (there was an Afghani place in Herndon that I thought did a better job of those). My memories of the meal are vague (it was a while ago), but I agree with the poster who said I wasn't expecting much (in terms of formality or even, necessarily, quality). I loved the food (I've had other Afghani I probably preferred, but this was certainly good) and the service was good. There was a LONG gap between our appetizers and the entrees. The waiter came over and apologized, explaining that it would be a few more minutes and he recognized we had been waiting quite a while.

All in all, a good meal and a good experience.

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By the way, this is the same location as what used to be Khyber Pass. If I remember correctly, it changed owners around August 2001, a potentially inauspicious time. I’m so glad that it has done well – I think it’s the best restaurant in Woodley Park (faint praise, perhaps, but even so . . . ).

Khyber Pass was one of my favorite restaurants when I lived in Adams Morgan and Kalorama. In light of the increasing chainification* of Northwest, it's nice to hear it's new incarnation is independent, doing well, and hasn't been turned into another effing Potbelly. We'll have to pay it a visit.

(*I still haven't recovered from the Chipotle in the old Sherry's space. :) )

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We ate at Afghan Grill last night, and liked it very much. The vegetarian sampler (not sure what it's called) has pumpkin, spinach and (?) eggplant (can't remember, it might have been a variety of squash) which was fun for sharing. The spinach was spicy and my favorite on the plate. The pumpkin was too sweet for my taste, but my partner scarfed it up. We also had a lamb kabob which was quite fine. The rice served wtih it needed more of the sauce they served - the rice/sauce was tasty.

The hostess told us they had a reservation for 15, when in fact only 4 people showed up for the table. I hate to see this - a small, local place that gears up for a big reservation on an otherwise quiet Sunday night mght bring in an extra staff person or more inventory - you could tell the hostess was disappointed when the party of 4 assured that no one else was coming. I assume this is a function of the proximity to the mega-hotels. Conference attendees are notorious for being indecisive.

Anyway, the small room is cozy on a cold night and the food is better than many of the options in that immediate area.

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Last time I went

Since I asked, we have been twice. (friends we haven't seen in years have been gigging in town again, at Murphy's, so I've been eating in the neighborhood again. I really need to write up last weekend's visit to New Heights, the first in almost 15 years, and very good.)

Anyhow, Afghan Grill food was good, menu was short, service was excellent. Prices were reasonable. We would say that if the online menu appeals to you, it's worth going.

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