One of the biggest food trends in New York City is halal food. Everyone who lives in the five boroughs has seen a halal food cart at least once. Most people who have tried it can agree that it tastes delicious. Halal food has become very popular, and the publicity is justified. However, halal food carts do not have much of a variety of Afghani food. They mostly sell only these 5 things: chicken/lamb gyros, chicken/lamb over rice, and falafel.
Shirazi Cafe is an authentic Afghani restaurant that sells many different dishes. I really love their beef kofta and barbecue shrimp dishes. The meat is very soft and tender, and it leaves a flavorful taste in your mouth. The kofta has a light lime taste, mixed with different spices. It’s not spicy, but if you enjoy a kick, the dish is served with a piece of pepper. The first couple of times I went to this restaurant, the kofta was served as 7 pieces of beef, but this time when I went, it resembled a kebab. I’ve noticed that individual dishes can vary depending on the day you go.
Their barbecue shrimp dish is also very good. The first and last time I went, the shrimp had a light crisp, but was not stiff. It was actually very easy to chew. The shrimp is also cooked with different spices, creating an explosion of flavor, yet other times I’ve gone, the shrimp was cooked in a sweet-ish orange sauce, and was not crisp at all. Although, it was equally tasty. The shrimp typically isn’t spicy, but this time, it was incredibly spicy. I have a very low spice tolerance, so believe me when I say it was not spicy at all before. Be prepared for any heat that may come your way.
Every order comes with two complimentary appetizers; salad and whole-wheat bread. The salad is comprised of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, dressing, and paneer. Paneer is a type of cheese used in different Asian cuisines. The paneer has a sharp flavor that accentuates the salad as a whole; it tastes really good. The French dressing over the paneer makes the salad even better. The bread, on the other hand, is dry; no butter is served. This restaurant is located at 184-02 Horace Harding Expy, Fresh Meadows, 11365. It is
near Francis Lewis High School. I highly recommend trying this place out if you like halal food; this restaurant will not disappoint. Visit their website, http://www.shirazicafefm.com/menu.aspx, for menu options.