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The Crystal Bistro is known to regulars as Hadi's place, for the owner is always on the floor, recommending the lentil soup his wife makes, the pasta dumplings his mother is famous for, the hot sauce his little son slurps up like soup. The bistro is just that kind of family place: Here's where a real family serves the real comforts of their Afghani home. Be sure to try the aushok, tender, house-made pasta dumplings filled with a sauteed spinach and green onion mixture that's light, healthy, and fresh. The banjaan, a sort of tomato eggplant stew, is savory, slightly accented with sweet spices such as cinnamon, and robust. Beef-stuffed cabbage rolls will be familiar and welcome to any fan of traditional Eastern European comfort foods, they're mellow, mild, and just right. Put a beer or a glass of shiraz on the table (the place has a small, good, mostly $20-something, domestic big-brand wine list), and you've got exactly everything that makes a restaurant a neighborhood gem: craveable, affordable, homemade, easy, and real as family.
Crystal Bistro Afghani Cuisine 6408 Bass Lake Road, Crystal 763.533.4900 Of all the things I've learned in life, the one that has yet to be contradicted is this: If two separate readers, unknown to one another, take the time to write to me about... More »
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