Helmand

(617) 492-4646 | View Website

143 1st St, Cambridge, MA | Directions   02142

42.366516 -71.078025

Open Hours

Sunday To Thursday From 05:00 PM To 10:00 PM Friday To Sunday From 03:00 PM To 11:00 PM

 
Restaurants, Afghan, Traditional American  more

More Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Vegetarian

Price: $$

Tags: Date Spot, Group Dining, Local Favorite, Romantic Dining

Payment Methods: American Express, Cash, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa

Neighborhoods: East Cambridge

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Menu
Aushak, Mantwo, Bowlawni, Banjan, Kaddo, Aush, Mushawa, Shorwa, Shor Nakhod, Salata... more

Reviews for Helmand

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

WANT TO KNOW WHY THE SERVICE STINKS???? – ok... i have recently quit from being a server at The Helmand... and I can honestly say that at some points, the service is terrible. but then i can honestly say also, that it's poor management, and it wasn't our fault. here's why... there are 4-5 servers on per night (depending on whether it's a weekend or not). i had to create my OWN alchoholic drinks... NO REAL BARTENDERS. i'm not one. i had to make my own desserts... which entailed scooping rock hard ice cream, decorating it with fruits, and etc, cutting cake, unwrapping desserts, etc etc... and when you have a table of 4 or more, it takes up extremely valuable time. Imagine 10 people all wanting this at the same time... now i'm in the back, making ten desserts, with ten turkish coffees (only four can be made at a time) and i have tables still sitting without menus... and also... have you tried the turkish coffee? everyone loves it... it is valuable time wasted. even MENUS are given by the server... not the hostess... WHY? no one knows....i have many friends in the restaurant business.... and NONE of them have to deal with the same conditions i had too... also, tips are shared. at the end of the night all the money is pooled and split to servers, bus boys, and EVEN the hostess!! why? she makes over ten dollars an hour.. PLUS TIP? servers make 1.70. and the majority of the customers, even when service is highly appreciated, only gave 15 percent. .people... TODAY it's 20 percent. i'm very glad to be moving on to bigger and better things, but i'd just like you to please say something to management... maybe something can be done to improve things, as he would NEVER take the advice from his staff, maybe customers can make the difference. just be careful to notice how the servers never stop, and try to understand that they really are trying... but it's impossible with the conditions. thank you.

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

Go there for the food and nothing else-Service s**ks! – This place serves some of the tastiest food in the Boston area. All the appetizers are good. In the entree section stick to the Grilled meats. The Sauteed or boiled meats are not too good. I have never tried their fish or Chicken. The Vegetarian special is good too. Top items Chappendaz, Teekha kebab, Seek Kebab and Dopiaza. The meat are cooked just right with just the right amount of spices. The desserts are decent too. No about the service. In two words IT S**KS. The tables are too close to each other, and there is never enough space on the table. They insist on taking the whole order and bring the entrees before you can finish your appetizer. They seem to allocate only an hour for meals, so you might turn up for your 7 pm resrvation on a weekend and not be seated till 7.30. We generally go there at 5.30 or 6 on a weekday and enjoy the food and ignore the service. The hotesses (there have been several over the years) are generally surly and look harried. The host has a perinially lost look on his face. The wait staff, is the luck of the draw. Last time we went we were served by a nice gentleman in his late 40s. Normally they are a surly and rude lot. Don't take your girlfriend on a first date.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Horribly rude hostess/lady manager – I went to Helmand for the second time this evening... and for the second time, the hostess/lady manager was extremely rude. I arrived at 5pm (without a reservation, since it was so early), and asked for a table for two (my friend had not yet arrived). The hostess, after finishing her phone conversation, sent me rather dismissively to sit and wait for my friend, rather than seating me and offering me water on a very hot Boston summer day. When my friend arrived, she made a quite a fuss about wanting to take my bag - apparently there wasn't enough space for it at the table - when I (politely and smilingly) said I'd be happier with my bag with me (there was in fact plenty of room for my bag under the table), she argued with me, asked me what was in the bag, and then seated us at the restaurant's worst table, near the kitchen and right next to the servers' station. Soon after, she seated someone else right next to us, which seemed unnecessary as the restaurant was almost empty. The food is good (although unfortunately undermined as the hostess was so rude and unwelcoming), the service was ok, but I will not return, nor recommend it to friends, especially when the fantastic Thai restaurant, The Similans, is right next door.

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

Great vegetarian options – I loved the food here. The pumpkin dish tastes like candy. One could even dine on the freshly baked bread with sauces alone. I was extremely happy with my meal.

Only complaint is that the seating is a little tight; I had to pull in my chair really close to the table because I kept getting bumped by passers-by.

Our server was very attentive. We were a little bit rushed toward the end of our meal. He picked up the bill when we obviously had not paid it because it was still standing up in the middle of the table; to me, that said, "time to go."

Recommends
3.0
over a year ago

Great Food. Service lacking. – I went to the Helmand for the first time in May 2007. We made a reservation the day before, on the appointed day I called to add 2 more persons. They couldn't find my original reservation; fortunately, they were able to accomodate us. The food was very good. The service was sub-par. We wanted to order the appetizers first and were told we had to order everything at the same time. The server was very unknowledgeable about the food and wine, and actually did not care; eventhough he was not rude. It's a shame that the service is totally out-of-line with the food. So I'd give an "A" to the food, and a "C-" to the service.

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Great food, and great service! – I took my hsuband to Helmand this past weekend for his birthday (it was our second time). I made a reservation a week before, for a Saturday night and had no problems. We were promptly seated. Our waitress was great. She answered my gluten-free questions, and was very attentive throughout the whole evening. The food - fabulous. I can't say enough great things about Helmand!

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Terrible management and service – I was not surprised to read all those service complaints here! We were asssigned a waitress who never smiled and was not very courteous at all. It makes a big difference if you are out to enjoy your night. Their bread is excellent, and the food is not bad. In fact the bread was so good that we wanted to take a couple of slices at home in the end. Yet our request was rejected by the manager lady who is also never smiling. I always go to Bertucci's and I also like their bread, and they would never reject such a request. If you want to be treated badly, go to this restaurant. You won't be disappointed.

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

LOVE THIS PLACE...Amazing food, cozy, stylish decor – This place is great. I found helmand on citysearch and my girlfriends and i went there last night for dinner to give it a shot. long story short, we definitely plan on making it back there at least several times. The food was amazing. Full of different flavors, but never in excess. I had the seekh kebab as my entree and the meat was perfectly cooked, and tender. as an appetizer we had the kaddo (pan-fried then baked baby pumpkin) and banjan (pan fried eggplant with garlic mint yogurt sauce), and that was so delicious. The plates are very decently priced, and portions are ample per person. The decor is great, stylish yet cozy. We all decided it'd be a great place for a first date, or group outings. love this place!!!

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Truly horrible service – My fiance and I made reservations for a busy Saturday night with high expectations. The food came very quickly (and was pretty good) and we had cleared our plates in about 30 minutes, though we hadn't yet finished our glasses of wine. Although we had only been seated for about 40 minutes total, a server came by twice and, in a purposefully rude manner, checked to see if we had put our credit card by the check. At about minute 45 of our stay, the waitress said that she was very sorry, but the management wanted us to leave, since "a stay this long on a weekend was not part of the owner's business model." We were shocked that we couldn't spend a full hour at a restaurant at which we'd made a reservation - I've spent longer than that at a fast food joint! I don't recommend this place to anyone wanting to make a good impression on friends or family.

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

awesome food – The food here is quite unbelievable. My wife and I loved the ambience, and the service was impeccable

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