With Monica, Margit and Sigi
You'd think right away I would be allowing for big bonus points for just finding an Afghan restaurant to experience...but I've been here many times. No points for a NEW dining adventure or even new dining friends. My international dining friends, known as the TWITS have made a few appearances in the dining blog already. But pictured left, you can see Margit and Sigi are eager to add this spot to the dining list.
I will give 3 bonus points for curious location, though! At Hwy 6 and Voss, this is actually in good old Sugar Land. However the shopping center probably gets passed up by many people I know. How could they... with so many options! There's the Halal Chinese spot next door and a Pakistani dessert shop a few doors down. Many other choices as well!
I'm cheating on this picture, because it was taken last year. However, it shows the TWITS group in the very festive atmosphere with flags and tile roof and woven art. There is a stage behind us with a woven rug and speakers. We asked about entertainment, but you must provide your own. Next time we will come more prepared.
As you can see Zamir, our waiter has a very big smile. When the 4 of us arrived at 7:30, he greeted us with a grin and a slight chuckle which we interpreted as, "Oh my, here they are again!" We asked if he had missed us and he gave us some kind of polite response. We like Zamir's service because he is very pleasant, but he mostly leaves us alone. We tuck ourselves into a booth, pull out our own wine, (allowed) feast on flavorful dishes and chat for an hour or two. 5 points for Zamir who never gets annoyed with us. I know that may be a high rating when most customers want their water glasses filled constantly...but I am one of those people who worries that we may be overstaying our welcome. Think I worry too much? It helps to know that at age 6, I fretted about my noisy family of 6 in our Staten Island apartment and slipped apology notes under our neighbors' doors.
Atmosphere! You know I like authentic and everything about this place says Afghanistan. We thought this woven piece was possibly something you might put on a camel's back, but we were told it was just decoration. The huge painting in the picture above, feels a bit intense, but the kites add a playful touch...unless you've read the book Kite Runner, which could bring up some darker thoughts. ( I did like that book, though!)
There are some curious instruments and there is a big screen TV if you want to watch Afghan TV...at least I guess that was what was playing? But it is the people who come and go, who make Afghan Cuisine, the most authentic. It was quiet on this night, but most nights we see a steady flow of groups and families. Lots of colorful clothing and language to make you feel like you've taken a trip! For authentic atmosphere I give 5 bonus points!
This really is why we come. Prices are so reasonable and we can get a few appetizers and a couple entrees and share. This is Bolani, which they describe as Afghani calzone! It's stuffed with leeks, potatoes and cilantro, seasoned and grilled! Homemade yogurt for dipping!
No pictures of the Borani Badenjan (sauteed eggplant with garlic and tomatoes) or the Mantoo ( Afghani dumplings stuffed with beef and onions, then steamed and covered in sauce) These 2 disappeared so fast I couldn't snap a shot! But if you go, get these small dishes to share! Wonderful!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.