Albany John and I got taken out to Kabul Night in Schenectady, NY by a pair of our friends. We like going out to eat with them because they are so fun to hang with, and given our schedules, it doesn’t happen often enough. Yay, friends!
Right. So. Kabul Night. We met up at their place in Troy and headed out to Schenectady. Kabul Night was really easy to find. You basically just keep going straight and it’s on your left (with their own parking lot).
We got in and were seated right away during prime-time hours (around 7 or so). We got menus, water, and looked over the menu. Everything looked really appetizing.
We ordered the pakawras and samosas to start. I’ve never had Afghani food (that I know of) so I was interested to see they shared terminology with Indian dishes I am familiar with. The pakawras were thin slices of potato coated in a crunchy batter and deep fried. Albany John and his buddy thought they were the world’s best seasoned fries. The samosas were wrapped in wonton wrappers and overall not that great or memorable. I would skip these. Just kind of blah. Both came with a really phenomenal dill (it looked like dill) dipping sauce that was super-addictive. We kept the dill sauce for our meals.
We also got yogurt with mint and cucumber, and a side of Afghan bread. We got the yogurt first, and the bread took a few more minutes to come out, so it just sat there since we also didn’t have small plates to eat off of. We were just eating the other appetizers from their large plates and trying not to spill on the table (myself, rather unsuccessfully. Graceful has never been a word used to describe me). The yogurt dip was a large bowl of yogurt with the aforementioned items in it. It was a lot of yogurt. It was a bit lumpy, and it just tasted like plain yogurt with cucumber and some mint mixed in. The Afghan bread was alright, but I wouldn’t get it again. It was kind of like a flatbread/focaccia type bread – thin, and it had lines on it, kind of like it was toasted in a panini press. Not press thin or anything, but just to give you an idea. (If you can’t tell, I forgot my camera. Well, technically the battery to my camera, which was really annoying)
I got a lamb curry – tasty. At the time I wasn’t flipping head over heels for it or anything, but looking back it was meltingly tender, with some nicely sized chunks of lamb in the dish. The rice was really good, too. Fluffy, individual kernels of brown tastiness. Not sure if it was herbed or what, but I could get down with eating rice like that more often. OMG – and their sauces. They have cilantro chutney, which tastes like the kind you get from the jars at the Indian markets. But there was also this hot sauce that was outstanding. I think Albany John and I cleared over half of that on our own. It was firey, but quickly dissipated, and had a nice tang of vinegar in it. If I can buy this somewhere, I am going to have to add it to the condiment collection.
Albany John got a chicken kabob. It was a red piece of chicken, in chunks on stick form. I usually don’t like kabobs, but this was very juicy. Didn’t have any seasonings jumping out at us, but very juicy.
Our meals also came with a side salad – the dressing was really tasty on these, and it wasn’t 90% iceberg lettuce. A good amalgam of tomato, cucumber, and red onion as well.
Our friends got the falafel platter (I had a bite – it was nice and falafel-y. The balls were huge[tee hee!], too and it came on a bed of lettuce/salad) and the vegetarian pasta (I think it was spinach and something else). The pasta was like half-moon raviolis. It came out slathered in sauce, and the pasta skins had a nice tenderness to them. The spinach wasn’t overcooked to mush either.
One of our friends could not get enough of the hot chai. He loved it, hands down. We also got baklava for dessert, and a rice pudding type dessert with black pepper on the top. Albany John tried a bite and said it was flowing with cardamom and black pepper and that I wouldn’t like it. I didn’t try it since too much cardamom really hurts my stomach. The baklavas were tasty, but bless, I have never run into a blah-baklava.
Overall I thought it was a nice dinner, but it’s pretty far from me right now, so I’m not sure I’d go back for dinner since nothing really called out to me. However, I hear there is a lunch buffet on the weekdays. I think I could get down with that – then I’d get to try more of their dishes, and when are more options bad?I think we’re going to try out Afghan Grill in Latham, NY next. That’s a little closer and it’ll be fun to compare notes.