Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mantwo at Maiwand Kabob

I'm changing my mind and pushing mantwo to the top of the list at one of Howard County's best restaurants -- Maiwand Kabob.

The Columbia restaurant serves Afghan food with counter service and a casual feel.  The kabobs make for good eating, but Maiwand Kabob qualifies as one of the best places around because its kitchen turns out appetizers that are exotic using ingredients accessible to almost anyone.

Pastas, dumpling wrappers, scallions, pumpkin, a little ground meat.  Everyday ingredients go in, and they come out with unique, fresh flavors.

On our most-recent visit, the mantwo edged out the old champion aushak as my favorite plate.  We love the appetizers so much that we tend to order 2-3 appetizers and a single kabob main dish.  You still get grilled meat and Maiwand Kabob's delicious bread, and the $4 appetizers become "small plates" that you'd happily pay double to eat if they were served among white tablecloths and a waitstaff.

Mantwo are basically meat-filled dumplings, but there is nothing basic about the tender wrappers and the yogurt sauce spiked with mint and topped with earthly lentils.  The flavors pop in a way that made it my favorite -- even against the pumpkin and the scallion-filled aushak.  Don't get me wrong: I'd order all three tonight.  But I dug into the mantwo with such enthusiasm that I had make sure that I didn't outstrip my wife and gobble the entire plate for myself.  One of the best dishes at one of the best restaurants.  Definitely an item that you should go out and sample.

Maiwand Kabob isn't fast food.  Orders regularly take 15-20 minutes and 30 on a rough night because they're cooking your kabobs and bread to order.  Go with a plan to wait.  And I recommend that you ask to substitute the salad for a side vegetable.  The salad is fine, but the baked pumpkin at Maiwand Kabob is outstanding.

If you're looking for Afghan but live south of Rte 32, consider Mimi's Kabob in Clarksville.  Another casual place with counter service and a menu similar to Maiwand Kabob's.


Anonymous said...

I live near Maiwand, and I call ahead to get take out all the time. Helps eliminate (or at least mitigate) the wait.

Agree that the mantwo are awesome -- I often get that (by itself) for dinner.

Barbi said...

Just ordered the Mantwo last week for take-out and it was WONDERFUL! My husband and I took a few moments just to smell the dish...the mint! We will certainly be ordering it again, maybe a double order, so we aren't fighting over the 3rd one:) As always the pumpkin is great, but you are right, the Mantwo may edge it out a bit.

AlPal3 said...

After reading this post I had to go because it had been a while and it never disappoints. I had the Kofta kabob and the Bowlani. Delicious. It does take a while so it helps to call ahead, but the food is outstanding. I'll have to try the Mantwo next time I go, but it's hard to stay away from those crisppy pastry shells filled with scallions and potatoes.

dantheman said...

This place is the best hands down..I ordered the mantwo I love it but I still am a fan of the pumpkin especially now it's the season for pumpkin and the girl working at the counter said since it's the season for pumpkin it absorbs more of the sugar.God it was to die for. thanks Maiwand for making me a addict to that sweet tangy pumpin of yours;)

Morty Abzug said...

+1 to calling ahead. We usually do takeout rather than sit down dining, so I just call ahead on my way home from work.

IMHO, Mimi's kebabs are indeed as good as Maiwand's, but Maiwand wins on the bread. Gourmet Shish Kebab has better kebabs, better vegetable sides, and better samosas, but inferior bread.

Jacob78 said...

Gourmet shish kabob ahh wouldn't go there..isn't that in Laurel? I go to the Maiwand Kabob in Linthicum and that place is always packed to the gill which is a good thing I suppose. food is delicous love the tikka and the aush soup.but call ahead because it is cooked to order!

Morty Abzug said...

@Jacob: yes, Gourmet Shish Kebab is in Laurel. If you like shish kebab, it's worth the drive. Or just keep the name on your GPS in case you find yourself in the area.