Afghan Food on St. Mark’s at Khyber Pass

Khyber Pass is fun because you can sit in the window seats cross-legged and watch people walk down the street on the coldest, most intolerable days without feeling the chill yourself. The food is warming and the decor is inviting (though it has become a bit of a grunge-fest in the past three years).

I forgive them, for they have especially delightful – not sticky – mantoo (meat dumplings) and do take the time to brew perfectly good shir-chay. Good food is, in fact, the reason we eat outside of our own homes. Don’t be fooled by the city glitz and glam into thinking there is *so* much more to consider.

I recommend the qourma kadu, because it is so good that it actually sometimes makes me trudge down to crunchy old St. Marks, all the way down and across from the Upper West Side. Whoever designed this recipe, which includes chunks of pumpkin stewed in a tomato-onion sauce over basmati rice, was trying to impress their lover, and I’m sure it worked (there you have it). It’s simply weak-at-knees provoking.

Any other entree will include minty yogurt, noodles/rice, meat, and this really amazing blend of spices that has a way of making the human brain travel to happy places for as long as whomever their with allows them to drift and chew, drift and chew.

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