Cheap Eats 2016: Bamian

Cheap Eats 2016: Bamian
cheap eats date night iconDate-Night-Worthy Good for Groups No Alcohol on cheap eats for 10 yearsOn the List for Ten Years

Anyone mourning the disappearance of the white tablecloth should visit this grand Afghan banquet hall, decked out with crystal chandeliers and a smartly suited waitstaff. That’s not to say you’re in for a formal meal, but it’ll be a feast nonetheless, starting with crusty ovals of freshly baked bread. It’s tempting to order tender aushak dumplings—stuffed with scallions and sauced with ground beef, yogurt, and a shower of mint—as an entrée, but resist the urge. Both aushak and their meatier cousins, mantu, are available in small portions, as are stellar vegetarian options such as caramelized eggplant. Then you can round out a meal with charcoal-grilled kebabs—we’re partial to smoky marinated chick-en thighs—and a massive qabili palow, featuring ten-der hunks of lamb buried beneath a heap of fragrant rice, carrots, and raisins.

Also good: Sambosa (fried pastries stuffed with potato, chickpeas, and herbs); chaplee (spicy ground beef) kebab; kadu (sautéed pumpkin); maust (house-made yogurt).

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.