Nordeast Kabul

Nicole and Meerwais Azizi bring two cities together in food

I do recommend Crescent Moon with this caveat though: The place doesn't quite get the niceties of restaurant culture. It's counter-service and bus-your-own-tables, à la McDonald's but without the clear signage or quick service you need to make that model work. It's hard to tell what the beverages or desserts might be: I thought that anyone visiting was stuck with Arizona iced tea or soda, until my third visit, when I finally figured out that you could order chai tea (milky, sweet black tea perfumed with cardamom and other fragrant spices; $1.59 small, $1.99 large). But order chai, or an appetizer of a cheese pie or spinach pie ($2.99), and you won't get it before the meal; you'll only get it with your hot food. Which is okay in theory. But in practice, sitting at a completely bare table (which the last customers bussed but didn't much sponge off) for 20 minutes or, as I did one busy Saturday night, an hour and a half, is no fun.

"Warning: Unique taste sensations!" Nicole and Meerwais Azizi of Crescent Moon
Michael Dvorak
"Warning: Unique taste sensations!" Nicole and Meerwais Azizi of Crescent Moon

Location Info

Map

Crescent Moon Bakery & Restaurant

2339 Central Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: Northeast Minneapolis

I'm willing to cut the place some slack: It's basically a mom-and-pop shop, and when they opened they meant simply to be a bakery. Customer demand has led the place to broaden so quickly that a few growing pains, in company with such consistently good food, seem reasonable. There're more plans in the works, too: An increased vegetarian selection, with lots of spinach and eggplant dishes, is supposed to debut as soon as the Azizis are satisfied with the recipes. "I'm sort of a perfectionist," explains Nicole. "I wanted everything we serve to be the best food you can get, the best bread, the best rice. It takes a lot of practicing, and I've had to take a lot of critiquing from my in-laws. But as it goes, I've figured out my own tricks, my own style. I think if a lot of Afghan people came here, they'd get a big surprise--'What is she doing?'--but I'm doing it my own way. Prior to my marriage I didn't even know where Afghanistan was, so that was also a big surprise."

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