There are very few people I know that have actually tried Afghan food. I always tell people about Afghan Grill and the look at me like I was crazy. They have either never heard of it or they can't comprehend what Afghan food is like. We're not ones to talk -- Amy and I have only been eating Afghan food for a couple years now.
Immediately after 9/11, I noticed the Afghan restaurant I was passing on the way to work everyday was practically empty all the time. I figured it was most likely because of a backlash against Afghan businesses. We had not read much about Afghan Grill, but we decided to try it out and see what Afghan food was like. Here's what we found.
Afghan Grill is located very close to the corner of Calvert and Connecticut on the side of the bridge that takes you over to Adams Morgan. Do to how dark it was, I was not able to get a great picture of the outside, but you kind of get the idea.
Inside, there are not many tables. It is small and there is barely an entrance. The lighting is low and it is pretty quiet. There is rarely a wait for a table and if you do wait, it won't be for more than 10 minutes. In the picture below, Amy and I were sitting at the far end of the restaurant by the window.
Now onto the food. Afghan food is a lot like a combination of Indian, Mediterranian and Turkish food, which is pretty much what you would expect from the area of the world it is located. You definitely see the influence from the surrounding areas on the food with lots of kabobs, curries, lamb and chicken. What turned out to be our favorite dish, however, surprised me a lot - pumpkin. Aghan Grill calls it Kadu Buranee. The chef sautees pumpkin for about 30 minutes. On top of it they pour a garlic yogurt sauce and a meat sauce. The result is an interesting combination of flavors that I have never witnessed elsewhere. Afghan Grill will often run out of the pumpkin. One time, we were the last to get it, much to others dismay. Our other favorite is the chicken kabob. Too bad the pictures I took don't really show much of a difference between the two dishes. Honestly, the dishes look mush more appetizing in person ;).
Everything is super seasoned, right down to the rice which all dishes come with a helpful portion of. If you have some left at the end, you'll want to finish it, even if don't have anything to eat with it.
The wine list is reasonable in accordance to my standards. The average price of a bottle of wine is about $25. As far as desserts go, we haven't ever had any room to try them. The service is very friendly and we've not once had a problem. Dress is casual. Our average bill is about $60-70 which is very reasonable for the quality of food ou find here.
So make sure you go to Afghan Grill and let us know what you think.
2309 Calvert Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008