Monday, May 16, 2016

Maiwand Grill

Maiwand Grill, which bills itself as a restaurant serving authentic Afghan cuisine, opened on West Baltimore Street in 2015. It's just down the street from work, so I've popped in a couple of times to try various menu items.

The first time, I decided to sample three of the appetizers. The kaddo borawni, or sweet baby pumpkin topped with a garlicky yogurt sauce (with or without ground beef sauce) seemed sweeter than the same dish served at the Helmand (the restaurant that introduced the cuisine of Afghanistan to Baltimore), but it was tasty nonetheless. I also tried the aushak, ravioli filled with scallions, topped with more of that garlicky yogurt sauce, plus ground beef and mint. It was a little sloppy to eat out of a pound-sized plastic tub but it was also pretty good. Finally, the eggplant with tomatoes and peppers (and more garlic yogurt sauce) had too many green peppers for my taste (but that is my particular prejudice). All three apps felt slightly oily, which may not be the case if they are served on a plate.

Left: kaddo borawni. Top: eggplant. Bottom: aushak with meat.

And perhaps it was a bit of yogurt sauce overload for one meal (however, I ended up eating the leftovers for two additional days), but all three dishes worked nicely with the supplied flatbreads, which mopped up all of the sauce and juices quite nicely.

The next time I went, I tried one of the kabob dishes. Maiwand Grill has a couple styles of chicken kabobs, like the tikka kabobs (marinated with tandoori flavoring) and the malai kabobs (with a sour cream butter sauce--the one I tried), plus lamb, beef, kofta, and salmon kabobs. All come with salad, cilantro yogurt sauce, a naan-style bread, and a pile of cinnamon- and cardamom-scented rice. The chunks of white meat chicken in my dish were tender and moist, and everything else was well-seasoned.
Chicken malai kabob.
It was also a large portion, so I was able to enjoy it for two lunches. Not bad for $10.

Maiwand Grill's entree selection also includes lamb chops, shrimp, and a beef or chicken burger seasoned with Afghan spices. Baklava, rice pudding, and Afghan ice cream serve as desserts.

I would imagine they get the most business at lunchtime from the University and hospital down the street, but Maiwand Grill is a place to consider for lunch or dinner before or after an Orioles game--Camden Yards is just a few blocks away.

Maiwand Grill
324 W Baltimore St
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 685-0208

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