BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT Minneapolis 2005 - Khyber Pass Cafe
Befitting a nation that was once the crossroads of Asia, Afghani food is a mix of influences from India, Persia, and the Middle East. At this venerable Grand Avenue eatery, you can sample Afghanistan's polyglot cuisine without fear of busting your budget: An entrée and appetizer should only run around $20. Of special note are Khyber Pass's warm, tender chicken and lamb kabobs, and kofta, which are Afghani meatballs made from ground beef and onion. There's also a good selection of vegetarian dishes, including shola, a mix of mung beans and chutney. Add to the fine, inexpensive food Khyber Pass's mellow, homey decor and warm, attentive staff, and you've got all the ingredients for a St. Paul classic.