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The silky smooth Afghan dishes you've come to love uptown at the Helmand--aushak, mantwo, boulawani--are yours for the ordering at this modest and very sunny downtown eat-in/carryout joint. Kebabs skewer expertly grilled meat, and the beloved kaddo (pan-fried baked baby pumpkin) is done justice. But go on weekends to avoid the business crowds.
Eager-to-please little Amer's Café uses its wood-burning oven to excellent ends. Witness the fluffy, puffy, fresh-baked pita bread that accompanies the silky, garlic-scented baba ghanouj, tender schwarmas, and other Middle Eastern specialties, or the delectably crispy-crusted pizzas. Each of Amer's individually named flavors of pizza ventures far beyond boring tomato sauce and cheese; one favorite is the piquant Dahb, made with tangy marinated eggplant, roasted red peppers, pickled peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and lots of garlic. Add belly dancers every Friday and Saturday night and the house policy of letting kids make their own pizzas and you've got a recipe for fun. BYOB.
Tidy, small storefront that serves pitas, falafel, couscous, pizzas and more. BYOB.
An upscale Lebanese café at the edge of Roland Park, Carlyle Club caters neither to the Johns Hopkins undergrads or budget tourists that stay in the Quality Inn Carlyle Hotel building. Rather, it has found a loyal clientele from the lush neighborhoods just behind the Soviet-style high-rise. The solicitous waitstaff can guide you in your travels through the extensive menu, but recommended are the smoky baba ghanouj, pumpkin soup, kibbeh (fried bulgur wheat balls stuffed with lamb and pine nuts), suzuk (beef-and-sausage links with sautéed onions), and whole-fish entrées.
"Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant open daily for lunch, dinner and late night fare. Offering the best fresh healthy options as well as vegan menus"
Arguably downtown's most popular walk-up lunch spot. The perfect falafel pita, outfitted with two--count 'em--chickpea fritters sustains many thankful vegetarians. Others begin there and move on to the meat pitas, the melty grilled panini, the generous rotisserie chicken, and fresh salads. The only discouraging words can be uttered about the prices, which are a dollar more than you'd like to spend on what is basically street food, even really good street food. The constantly filled outdoor tables offer unparalleled perches for watching people dressed in business attire.
Desert Café's Middle Eastern and North African menu makes for great carryout but its whimsical interior--stars dangle from the ceiling, and banquette seating is piled high with comfy pillows--invites diners to stay. Classics are good--the enormous hummus sampler platter begs to be shared among many--but inventive updates like the curried mango chicken salad are even better. Given Desert Café's more-than-generous portions it is hard to save room for dessert, but once you check out the weekly roster of homemade treats, you'll be glad you did. BYOB.
Offering a selection of 30-plus gourmet brick-oven pizzas, as well as other Middle Eastern specialties.
Forum Caterers provides on and off-premise catering.
Street vendor who sells Middle Eastern food.
Northwest dine-in/carryout Lebanese joint a garlic-lover’s heaven
Azerbaijani restaurant in a strip mall.
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