Cheap Eats 2010: Bamian

100 great places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: With its glittering sconces and vested servers, this restaurant couldn’t feel less like your typical kebab house. The kitchen holds up its end, turning out a consistently good lineup of Afghan hits.

What to get: Freeform dumplings stuffed with scallions (aushak) or ground beef (mantu) and draped with yogurt, dried mint, and a brightly flavored meat sauce; flaky scallion pastries called bulanee; qabili palau, a mound of rice sweetened with carrots and raisins and piled over lamb; a not-too-sweet rendition of kadu chalau, stewed pumpkin with yogurt; lamb-chop kebabs; baklava.

Best for: A celebration—tables can seat 10 to 20, and the room hosts private parties and weddings; a date in one of the plush, private booths.

Insider tip: Ask for an extra helping of the blistered flatbread to go with leftovers. A variety of coupons is often on the restaurant’s Web site.

 >> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here 

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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.