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“Mediocre Food, Poor Atmosphere”
Review of Afghan Restaurant - CLOSED

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Afghan Restaurant
Restaurant details
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Mediocre Food, Poor Atmosphere”
Reviewed 25 June 2014

I like to try new cultures, and I am a firm believer that the easiest way to connect with another society is by sampling their food. As such, I thought it would be a fine idea to go and try Afghan Restaurant, the only one of its kind in the Alexandria area, and try to see what Afghanistan was like past the headlines. Unfortunately, this restaurant does not represent Afghani cuisine very well. I will first describe the building itself, because it seems you really can judge this book by its cover. The restaurant is just off of Jefferson Davis Highway, and is situated with a poorly maintained parking lot in its front. Pulling in, the only thing you see through the dark windows is a bright neon light that flashes OPEN, the only thing that would indicate that the restaurant is, in fact, open. Once you walk closer you will notice the tiles falling off of the roof, and the griminess of the windows. As you pass through the door, your only greeting comes from a man fiddling with a radio behind a desk. After you wait a while for him to finish, you may be seated next to the fake rocks, or perhaps by the kitchen door, where you will be handed laminated menus that are covered in dried foodstuffs. The other few clientele do not seem to even be Afghani, but rather businesspeople finishing up their lunch hour. There is the up side when you order, you do get a lot for the amount of money you spent, including rice and bread with sauces. Besides that, though, there is not much else good about this place. The food seems like a less tasty version of Indian food (not to sound insensitive to what are two very different cultures.) In fact, I would recommend going to the many good Indian restaurants of the Washington area instead of this place. Overall, this restaurant good do well with a good makeover, and maybe a new cooking staff. There is a demand for rarely seen cuisine in Alexandria, and that makes it all the sadder that this restaurant has botched nearly everything. I hope that some day I will be treated to some truly good Afghan food, and be able to enjoy this ancient and wonderful culture.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank BobNewbrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Tasty food, nice people”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We've eaten as a family at the Afghan Restaurant many times. We love the vegetarian platter (spinach/pumpkin/eggplant). The nan is great. And our babies/preschoolers have always loved the yogurt! And bonus...there is often an Afghan wedding or other celebration going on!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sevierville, tn
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“In love with Afghan food!”
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We had eggplant, bread with chutney, mants, kabobs. We shared, and everything was delicious. Our secong try on Afghan food, and were not disappointed.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank magus_81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manama, Bahrain
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The food is the reason to go.”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Afghan bread is very yummy all by itself, but add some eggplant or the garlic cilantro yogurt and it is hard to stop eating. I also had the chaplee (?) Kabob, spicy ground lamb, which was really tasty and came with a salad on the side and lemon. The lemon is fabulous on the kabob and compliments the spiciness. I also ordered a vege kabob which was fantastic, I really enjoy grilled veges. They were not overcooked, which many places do, and had a few spices, papikra and others, sprinkled lightly on top. BTW This was a lot of food for just one person. Don't forget some hot tea afterwards. I don't know how to describe it other than it needs no sugar or milk, is served extremely hot and is wonderful after the meal. The view on the outside is not exactly inviting and the ambience is lacking, they could use a revamp of their menu, the descriptions don't do the food justice and the food is really the reason to go.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PA_foody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Annapolis, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
238 reviews
190 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Authentic Food, Great Prices”
Reviewed 21 February 2014

I discovered the Afghan Restaurant nearly two decades ago, and make it a point to stop in for lunch or dinner when I’m in the area. I’ve always had good experiences here, most recently earlier this week with my wife, so I’m perplexed by some of the negative comments below.

Whether you’re ordering off the menu or doing the lunch buffet, the Afghan Restaurant serves tasty, authentic food in generous portions. Quabili Palau, for example, is a plateful of rice cooked with sweet, tender carrot strips and raisins, along with lamb chunks. Their version is at least as delicious as what I’ve eaten in Kabul, and the lamb is of higher quality too. If you think about starting with an appetizer, such as the excellent aushak, you’ll have plenty to take home. Their fried eggplant dish, Bouranee Baunjaun, is to die for. As is the bread. Between those and their rice, I could almost go vegetarian.

No alcohol. Afghans are Muslims, their religion prohibits it, so get over it and drink water or hot tea, which is more traditional anyhow. If you can’t get your head around that, go park yourself at the bar at TGI Fridays.

Service is, shall we say, casual, but friendly and accommodating. The décor is a little drab and leaves something to be desired, and the exterior is eminently forgettable. Let’s just say it fits in well with the auto body shops which surround it. But I’m here for the food, and they always hit the mark. We’ll definitely be back.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank John V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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