Samarkand

Quite by accident while driving home from a dinner out, we passed Samarkand Kebab House, self-described as “the best Uzbeki kitchen in the Philadelphia region.” It’s a BYO on Bustleton Pike in Feasterville, PA, and it caught our fancy.

Several weeks later I called to make reservations for a Friday night to include our friends Barb and Brad. During the res conversation I had some difficulty understanding the woman due to a heavy accent, but we managed to finalize the details, or so I had hoped. She asked which floor we would like to dine on (or words to that affect), and I inquired what the difference was. Apparently on weekends they have loud music and dancing on the first floor. Knowing we would want to converse over our meals, I opted for a second floor table.

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Brad’s image is reflected in the mirrored post across from our booth.

First impressions upon arriving? Well, you walk into the second floor from the parking lot. And for 8:00 on a Friday night, it was all but empty. We were promptly seated at a booth and given menus, although it took a few requests before we finally got our water.

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Barb getting ready to press the “Call” button.

Intrigued by the button on the wall, Barb’s curiosity got the best of her and she pressed it. No loud sirens went off, in fact nothing happened. I’m sure the staff get a kick out of the “Americans” who seem compelled to touch it. During this curiosity phase, we began to peruse the extensive menu.

Both couples decided to split beautifully plated salads and share Stuffed Cabbage (pictured up top), which came with two delicious rolls per plate. Russ and I loved the Mushroom Salad, with marinated mushroom, green peas, black olives, green onions, vegetable oil and spices. And Brad and Barb split the highly recommended Vostochny Salad, with roasted eggplant, tomatoes, red and green peppers with dill, garlic and spices.

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The salad portion of the menu.

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Russ and I really liked our Mushroom Salad.

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Barb’s friends recommended she order the Vostochny Salad.

For dinner we all zeroed in on the Shish Kebabs, which are ordered per skewer (vertel in Russian.) Russ and I each chose a Veggie Shish Kebab assembled with tomatoes, onion, zucchini and red peppers. Our other choices were Salmon Kebab for me, and a Rolled Beef Kebab and Boneless Lamb Kebab for Russ. For our dining friends, Barb got a Chicken Kebab and Brad also chose the Rolled Beef.

The kebabs were accompanied with a small pitcher of spicy tomato sauce which some liberally poured over their entrees.

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An assortment of shish kebabs are reasonably priced per skewer.

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Two veggie, one kebab each of rolled beef and boneless lamb.

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Salmon and veggie kebabs topped with thinly sliced onion and a sprinkle of dill.

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Brad and Barb’s chicken and rolled beef kebabs arrived on the same platter.

Yes, we all agreed, the food was very good and we plan on making a return visit. Let’s just hope that there’s an uptick in patronage in the meantime so that they don’t shutter their doors.

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