Article by Tiffannie Williams with photography by Fitz
(Lead photos- Lamb Kebab Plate, Kafta Kebab Plate, Lamb Gyro and Ferini Dessert at Mazari Kebab and More)
Living in Hampton Roads for the past two years, I have been sorely missing one of my favorite foreign cuisines. First introduced to me while I was working in Charlottesville, Afghan cuisine–with its fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean like flavors–had become one of my go to comfort foods. Needless to say, when I heard that an Afghan restaurant had opened in Virginia Beach, I made it a point to visit that same week.
Located in an unassuming shopping mall on N. Witchduck Rd., Mazari Kebabs and More does not disappoint. While the décor can only be described as sparse, with the miscellaneous floral arrangements, random rugs hung on the walls and only a half-filled bar, the food is exquisitely flavorful and enticing. The menu is simple, consisting of either kebab platters or gyro sandwiches. The kebab plate comes with a single skewer of grilled meat served over white or brown basmati rice, a piece of pita bread, and two vegetable side dishes. The gyro is served with your choice of meat wrapped in pita bread with house-made chips on the side.
My companions and I ordered a lamb kebab plate with eggplant and spinach, a kofta (ground beef) kebab plate with an afghan salad (a vinegary mix of cucumbers, tomatoes and onions) and chickpeas, and a lamb gyro. Both kebabs came topped with a mix of a cilantro- jalapeño and mayonnaise-based sauces and aromatic spices that worked incredibly well with both the kofta and lamb. For those of you who are looking for a taste adventure, get the brown rice. This spiced rice is a perfect accompaniment to the juicy meats and sauces.
In my opinion, the best side dishes were the eggplant and the afghan salad. The eggplant was excellently spiced and roasted to be soft and melty in your mouth. I don’t particularly like eggplant but you can feed me these any day. The afghan salad while simple has just the right amount of zest to be a refreshing, light side. Honestly, the house-made chips were the only lackluster part of the meal.
With a Korean and an Afghan restaurant within a mile of one another, maybe N. Witchduck is starting a new wave of delicious foreign cuisine in Hampton Roads.
For more on Mazari Kebab and More, visit them at 626 N. Witchduck Rd in Virginia Beach
And online HERE