This most recent trip was for work, and the company asks us to stay at certain hotels. This time it was the courtyard in Newark CA. I’ve stayed at this hotel at least once a year for the last 3-4, the first year it was pretty desolate for dining options. It’s steadily improved, and i knew the area had made it when i saw the newly opened Chipotle in the parking lot next door to the hotel. Franchises aside there are other options next door to the hotel, a reasonable thai place, a few divey but honest chinese places (crazy cheap, $6 entrees at dinner), a passable if unsteady italian place. We did venture further into Fremont to a part of Fremont Blvd which i discovered is home to a large Afghan population, and called Little Kabul.
Salang Pass is in a non-descript building shared with a Round Top Pizza and Persian Rug store. It’s on the end with a sign and entrance obscured by a tree, the closest cross street is Central Ave, if you get lost just ask for directions to the Round Top. Inside the decor is basic, with one exception, there is a tented area to one side of the dining room with low tables and pillow seating for the romantic types, since i was eating with 3 guys from work we opted for tables.
I’ve had afghan food a few times, and i always describe it as indian but just milder, not indian lite as the flavors are still there just more delicate. I don’t know all the names but we had the roasted pumpkin, eggplant with tomato, hummus, lamb curry (with huge lamb shank), chicken curry, and the ground lamb simmered in tomatoes (a complex blend of delicate spiciness, got better the more you at it). The meals come with salad (very passable) and bread/naan. I think the total for all of us was $20 a head and we were all quite happy at this point.
I don’t claim to be an expert in Afghan food (or any food for that matter), but i was satisfied with this meal and would happily return.
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