Cheap Eats 2008: Bamian Afghan Cuisine

Why go: Many local Afghan restaurants lack a certain ambiance. Here the proud, ancient cuisine is given its due with wooden booths and chandeliers in a dining room as expansive as the menu.

What to get: Bouranee baunjaun, a silky eggplant purée; rich mantu dumplings with ground beef; garlicky lamb kebabs; kadu chalau, sweet chunks of sautéed pumpkin with a tangy yogurt sauce; firnee, a cool white pudding sprinkled with crushed pistachios.

Best for: A power lunch—the food may be Afghan, but the vibe is pure steakhouse.

Insider tip: The dining room is sometimes understaffed, making service spotty.

See all 2008 Cheap Eats restaurants

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.