The Helmand

Featured, Pubs and Grub — March 22, 2013 at 1:12 am by

Face it, you are an uncultured dumb-ass.  Your idea of a great first date is to hit Ruby Tuesdays’ for some burgers, and then impress her with late night happy hour at T.G.I. Fridays.  And you wonder why you keep getting her voicemail after a date like that.  You live in a city that has some great restaurants, visit them for a change.  It’s time to expand your horizons, there’s more to Baltimore cuisine than just crab cakes and burgers.  For such an adventure we recommend the Helmand on Charles Street.

The Helmand serves food from Afghanistan.  That’s right Afghanistan.  Keep a lid on the jokes and open up that Baltimore- bred mind of yours.  This isn’t about war-torn, on the news, modern  Afghanistan.  This is about the culinary traditions of a proud ancient people.  But enough PC, the bottom line is that the food here is freakin’ good and different from your everyday.  Eating here is a must if you live in Baltimore.

First, I want to talk about the bread.  They bake their own naan in a brick oven right in plain sight.  It’s ridiculous.  I have to always fight the urge to rub it against my face, especially during the winter.  Naan is flat bread and when it comes out of that oven warm with butter, it really taste fantastic.  Fight the urge to fill up on it before your meal.

We went on a Thursday night, and though busy, the place wasn’t nuts.  We were sat right away even though we didn’t have a reservation.  (Reservations are recommended.)  Just to let you know, the dining room is a little tight.  If you wanted to freak people out you could easily just listen  into their personal conversations and comment at random.  But instead we’ll just call the place intimate and leave it at that.  The waiter was there quickly and we ordered drinks. 

For an appetizer, we ordered the Mantwo.  It’s homemade pastry (kinda like ravioli)  filled with spiced beef and onions, served on yogurt.  Delicious.  They also serve this as an entrée, and if you’re terrified to try new stuff, this may be a pretty safe dish for you.  My lady and I like to try different foods though, so we dove deeper into the menu.

For my entrée I had the Dwopiaza.  It’s lamb cooked with onions and split peas and it comes in some brown sauce.  It also comes with potatoes under a sweet sauce and pallow (rice).  The dish comes with a vinegar based sauce served on the side as well.  Holy crap, I lost my mind when I tasted the lamb mixed with the vinegar based sauce.  It was tremendous.  The sweet tasting potatoes and the rice were the perfect complement to the lamb.  It was one of the best new things I have tasted in a long time.  I highly recommend this dish when you go here.

My wizza (wife) ordered the Vegetarian Korma.  My wife is not a vegetarian, but she likes vegetables.  Korma is also considered an Indian dish F.Y.I.  But either way she really enjoyed this.   It’s veggies simmered with sun-dried grapes and Afghan herbs and seasonings.  It also comes with rice and some spinach on the side.  The Helmand does offer an extensive vegetarian menu, so if your lady is rabbit-folk, this is a good dining establishment for you and her.

For dessert we had the pumpkin cheese cake with some Turkish coffee.  An awesome finish to a spicy meal is a good sweet desert.  The cheesecake and the coffee fit perfectly. 

It’s a cool feeling when you try something new and it turns out good.  It feels even better when you introduce someone else to something new and they love it too.  The Helmand can kill these two birds with one stone.  Bring a date and try it yourself.  It’s a great date spot, and it’s near the Owl Bar and the 13th Floor, which are  two cool bars.  The Helmand and the Owl Bar beat the shit out of Ruby Tuesday’s and TGI Fridays every time.  Maybe after this date she’ll call you back.  (Unless you just suck in general.)

For reservations go to

One Comment

  1. Everytime I see that place, I walk into Akbar across the street. I’ll have to hit it up.
    Thanks, Seabass.

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