Best Afghan Restaurant Phoenix 2008 - Kabab Palace
Just because Kabab Palace happens to be the only Afghan restaurant in town doesn't mean it's any less worthy of "Best Afghan Restaurant." For one thing, after such a long dry spell with no Afghan cuisine to speak of in these parts (Chopandaz, the first and last Afghan restaurant in this area, closed in the early '90s), the food at Kabab Palace is a vivid reminder of the delicious flavors we've been missing all these years.
Owners Haroon Sherzai and Jalal Achakzai, who moved to the Valley from San Francisco, have dressed up an inconspicuous strip-mall space and rolled out a menu full of traditional specialties, from aushak (paper-thin ravioli filled with leeks and scallions, topped with ground beef, mint, and yogurt sauce) and kaddo (baked then pan-fried baby pumpkin served with garlic-yogurt sauce and savory ground beef sauce) to several kinds of juicy charbroiled kebabs.
Homemade mango ice cream and dense, silky rice pudding perfumed with cardamom are just a couple of reasons to keep eating when you think your stomach's ready to burst. Finish off with a strong Turkish coffee, and you'll bounce right back from that looming food coma.