Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hanging out with the fam

Last night I met up with my sister, brother, my brother-in-law and my niece for a dinner out.

It was this wonderful little restaurant in a strip mall that brother-in-law really likes.

It is a restaurant that serves afghan food and has been in this location for 22 years! And it is clearly a local favorite.

And the restaurant has a really wonderful atmosphere - family friendly but you still felt comfortable having an nice quiet 'adult' dinner.
When we arrived (a bit early) they already had the table set up and they were very welcoming. 

We had a reservation for 7pm and within 10 minutes the restaurant was packed full!

And after eating there - I do have to say - my brother-in-law has great taste in food.

We started off with salads.

The salad was very simple but incredibly delicious. Greens with tomato and cucumber and what I think was a ranch/yogurt type dressing. 

Then came the appetizers:

Mantoo - onion and ground lamb filled dumplings in a yogurt sauce topped with mixed vegetables.

Oh, wow, I can't really express how wonderful this dish was. The distinct flavor of the ground lamb was paired perfectly with the yogurt sauce and the vegetables. 

Which is why my brother-in-law ordered it the larger version for his entree. 

Which looked like this in a blink of an eye:

But, I digress, back to the appetizers.

Pakawra-e-badenjan - batter dipped eggplant with meat sauce. 
This was also another big winner (and of course it was my brother-in-laws pick for his appetizer) the eggplant was tender with just a little bit of chew and with the batter, yogurt and meat sauce?? Oh, holy, yum!!

Next time I come here I am ordering exactly what he had for dinner. The Pakawra-e-baenjan for an appetizer and the Mantoo for the entree.

Everyone in my family was kind enough to share so I had a sampling of a bit of everything. There would be a picture but I was busy eating and forgot to take a picture:-)

I ordered the lamb kebab (which the waiter slid off the skewer at the table).

 The lamb was cooked to perfection. 

Juicy and flavorful lamb kebab.
My niece ordered the same thing. While we both agreed that the lamb was cooked perfectly, we both wished for a bit more spice and I wished for some yogurt sauce.

My brother ordered a combo plate of lamb kebab and chicken kebab.

When the waiter went to slide off his chicken off the skewer one piece went shooting off onto the floor. This had us all laughing, but the restaurant staff was very efficient and brought out another serving of chicken kebab in no time.

My sister chose this:

Tender chunks of chicken breast cooked with mushrooms, onion, sour cream, garlic and spices, served with rice.
 My sister said her dish was wonderful but I didn't get a chance to taste it.

Then came the desserts. As you all know I am not a big fan of the sweets but I did 'share' an order of baklava with my niece.

By sharing I mean, I cut off one little edge, took one bite, and then handed the rest to my brother. Yeah, I know, no one gets my dislike of sweet things.

My niece raved about this dish - so if you like sweet things it would be a good pick.

I was fascinated with one dessert item but, of course, I wasn't going to order it but lucky for me my brother ordered it instead!

Fried pastry in the shape of an elephants ear, dusted with cardamon, sugar, and pistachios.
I did have a nibble off one edge of this and it was much more to my liking. Light and crunchy with a strong cinnamon taste and just a hint of sugar.

My sister ordered some tea which we were all ohhhing and ahhing over. The aroma of the tea was delectable. When she asked about it the manager said it was cardamom chai tea but we all agreed this tea would be the best perfume on the planet!

Happy Saturday!


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