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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Khyber Pass Cafe

Last week my husband and I dined at Khyber Pass, an Afghani restaurant off Snelling and Grand Avenue in St. Paul, MN. Afghani cuisine stems from a variety of cultural groups including: Middle Eastern, Greek, Persian, and Indian. I was able to recognize many similarities to Indian cuisine in their use spices and sauces, although Afhgani food is not spicy. The interior of the restaurant is small and decorated with colorful tapestries and plants. The vibe is casual and geared towards the hippy, Macalester crowd. 

Walking into the restaurant, it took a moment for the staff to seat us, and we were never warmly welcomed or introduced to the restaurant. The waitstaff seemed unfriendly and dismissive of our table, making my husband and I feel immediately uncomfortable. I kept reassuring my husband the food would be tasty enough to make up for the lacking service. We ordered two dishes to share, the Sabzi Korma and the Kadu Borani. The Sabzi Korma is a lamb curry dish served with spinach cooked with leeks and basmati rice. The lamb was a bit tough, yet I enjoyed the curry alongside the creamy spinach. The basmati rice was unexciting and could have used more curry to soak up the bland rice. Our second dish, the Kadu Borani highlights butternut squash served with braised onions, tomatoes, brown sugar and spices; topped with a yogurt sauce and basmati rice. I enjoyed the sweet flavors of the squash paired with the tangy yogurt, but again I could have used more sauce. Overall, the food was tasty but doesn't compare to the bold and rich flavors of Indian food I so adore. Because of the poor service, we will not be returning. I hate give a less than great review, but I also have to be honest about our experience.

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