6408 Bass Lake Rd, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5542845.054814 -93.361942
Neighborhoods: Lions Park, Robbinsdale - Crystal - New Hope
Great food in Crystal – We ate here recently. I think that they have renamed themselves Afghan Restaurant. I was very impressed. Nice service and good food. Very clean.
Great Middle Eastern food in a west-suburban strip mall – What a godsend for west-metro suburbanites like us, who had been trekking into MInneapolis for our Mediterranean food cravings ever since Nicklow's closed!
On our first visit, we were delighted by the Middle Eastern staples, like melt-in-your-mouth lamb shank (Minnesota-grown, by the way) and flavorful kabobs. On subsequent visits we discovered other pleasures like the "shola" bean dish, stuffed pastas, and a variety of eggplant-based entrees that can make even a carnivore like me forget that the meat is missing. Their beer and wine selection is limited, but what they do have complements the food nicely. Chai-style cardamom tea is deliciously habit-forming. For dessert, milk pudding is a must-try -- decadently creamy with crunchy almonds, and aromatic with sweet spice. I know they have other desserts, but I can't get away from the milk pudding!!
Most entrees are big enough to share, or to have leftovers for the next day's lunch (the lamb shank is a spectacular cold-meat treat). Only the side salad has underwhelmed me -- skip it and get the soup. Everything else we've ordered has met or exceeded expectations.
Two important warnings, both bread-related: 1. Eat the bread right away, because it's magical while steaming hot, but toughens as it gets cold. 2. Do not let anyone in your party slather their bread with the green or red jam-like stuff in bowls on the table, unless you know they are a spice fiend -- it is NOT jam and it is H-O-T spicy!
Atmosphere comes more from the food and people than the decor (a valiant attempt to overcome strip-mall ambience with Persian-style fabrics, rugs, and knick-knacks). There's also a sort of "gift shop" area ranging from teapots to furniture(!), and Hadi (the owner) is a great storyteller if you can get him going.
In summary, we go back and bring our friends because of the unusually good Middle Eastern food, reasonably priced, served with character and personality. Give it a chance!!
Awesome gyros – This place was cute and very personable. We met the owner and he was a really nice guy. We will for sure be coming back here for there awesome Greek food.
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