It was hot the other day and I really didn't feel like cooking, so we did the next best thing and got take-out. I'm not usually one for take-out and prefer to eat at a restaurant if I'm already choosing not to cook, but we got lazy and wanted to stay at home.
Going through my mental check-list of trusty restaurants that deliver, my mental Rolodex stopped at Balkh Shish Kabab House, the unassuming yet ultra flavorful Afghan restaurant on the corner of 31st Street and 23rd Avenue. Remembering back on a delicious dinner that Meg and I had there last year, Dan and I ordered a chicken and rice combination platter, their famous pumpkin turnovers as well as a side of lamb tikka kabob. Not only was everything piping hot, it was really scrumptious.
Morgh Kabob and Chicken Kabob - This chicken combination platter consisted of both white and dark meat--the white was off the bone and the dark had some small bones that we easily ate around. Both versions were ultra flavorful and juicy and I especially enjoyed the marination on the white meat, which wasn't spicy but had definite flair. Each bite was even more delicious when dipped into Balkh's special yogurt mint sauce, which was so refreshing on a hot day.
Besides the meat, the bed of long grain brown rice and a side of carrot raisin salad were amazing. The rice was my favorite because it was so deeply flavored by the drippings from the chicken that it was like eating the chicken itself. The carrot salad, embellished with plump, sweet raisins was a great surprise that almost tasted like a sweet dessert after all the heartiness from the meat and rice. And on top of all that goodness, just look at the portion - it can last for about 2 nights and costs just $12.
You can read about the other two dishes we had here. I'd recommend getting the pumpkin turnovers at the actual restaurant as opposed to a delivery option because the outside crust got a bit soggy and oily in transit.
For the above meal that I described, we paid a total of $26 and had plenty of leftovers for the next night. If I had to do it all over again, I would've skipped the lamb and the turnovers - the chicken combo plate was more than enough for two people.
Balkh Shish Kabab House - 23-10 31st Street, Astoria 11105
N/W Train to Ditmars Blvd (last stop)