Another option for eating Afghan


August 15, 2002|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A new Afghan eatery - Afghan Kabob - has opened in downtown Baltimore and is already doing a bang-up business at lunch, according to owner Anwar Hamidi.

The restaurant, at South Charles and Lombard streets, seats about 35 people, but much of its business is take-out and delivery. The menu lists seven appetizers ($3.95 each), six entrees ($6.95-$11.95) and two desserts ($3.95 each).

Among the most popular choices, so far: kaddo, a baby-pumpkin appetizer; aushak, an appetizer that Hamidi calls Afghan ravioli; and Hamidi's homemade clay-oven bread.

Afghan Kabob is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Delivery is free for a minimum order of $25.

A side note: Hamidi says he grew up in Afghanistan with that country's president, Hamid Karzai, and his brother, Mahmood Karzai, a restaurateur. In this country, Hamidi worked for Mahmood Karzai at two of his Helmand restaurants, in San Francisco and Boston. Baltimoreans may be more familiar with another brother, Quyam Karzai, owner of the Helmand restaurant here.

After 25 years in the restaurant business, Hamidi says, he wanted a place of his own. And now he has one.

Past the midnight hour

As of tomorrow night, Canton's Sip & Bite will have a little competition when it comes to feeding folks in the late-night and wee-morning hours. Andy's Tavern (2821 O'Donnell St.) is opening its own after-hours eatery, the Upper Room, upstairs.

Dave Kinsey, who runs the place with partners Brennan Iwanowski and Randy Newhouse, says the Upper Room will be open until 4 Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. The menu offers seafood, steak, light fare, breakfast and - best of all - steamed crabs, year-round, based on availability.

"There's no other place on the [Canton] Square that has crabs and late-night fare," Kinsey says. "And we're not going with small crabs, just jumbo and large. We don't want to waste people's time."

The Upper Room, which will have seating for 44, is also going for something a bit spiffier than the usual diner look - burgundy and white tablecloths, and works by local artist Robert McClintock on the walls.

You don't have to wait until it's late to give the Upper Room a try. Its hours are 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Wednesday, 4 p.m.-4 a.m. Thursday and Friday, noon-4 a.m. Saturday, noon-2 a.m. Sunday.

Breakfast boom

Just down the street from the Upper Room, a popular Canton hangout is now serving breakfast on the weekends. About a month ago, Claddagh Pub (2918 O'Donnell St.) began serving breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Manager Jennifer Perno says the menu offers omelets, pancakes, French toast, egg dishes and even a couple of down-home dishes such as creamed chipped beef and pork chops and eggs. Prices range from $5.95 to $10.95.

There must be something in the air - a Sunday-brunch fever, perhaps. About a month ago, the Elkridge Furnace Inn started serving Sunday brunch. For $24.95, you get your choice of appetizer (French toast, Waldorf salad, gravlax), side dish (potatoes O'Brien, bacon, sausage) and entree (seafood crepes, crab cakes Benedict, chicken breast with hazelnut stuffing and Mornay sauce). A selection from the restaurant's dessert or cheese tray is an additional $5.

You'll find the Elkridge Furnace Inn at 5745 Furnace Ave. in Elkridge. Sunday-brunch hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please fax suggestions to Sloane Brown at 410-675-3451, or e-mail her at

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