It’s easy to overlook soup at a buffet. It can often be off to the side, sometimes even banished to its own satellite table. Serving it requires you to use a whole separate serving dish, remove a lid, find somewhere to put it, and, for all but the most skilled ladelers, risk splashing hot soup everywhere. Besides, at a quality buffet, who wants to fill valuable stomach space with liquid, when there is so much good chomping to do?
At the lunch buffet at The Afghan Kabob Palace (M-F for $8.95), all of these temptations are present. The spread is great, particularly the luscious Borani Bandemjan, a dish of fall-apart eggplant and yogurt, reminiscent of baba ganoush, which may join a table of kabobs, buttered rice, vegetable curries, and fresh naan.
And the soup is off to the side, hidden beneath a metal lid.
But, as much as you might be inclined to do so, don’t skip the soup. Especially if the soup is Aush. Don’t skip the soup.
Aush is an Afghan noodle soup with a tomato and vegetable broth and floating bits of ground beef (sometimes meatballs). It’s warm and comforting, but what makes it irresistible, even at a buffet, is a heady hit of mint and dill. The good news is that Aush is on the regular menu, too, so you can order it any time of day. But, if you find yourself at the buffet, be sure to look for the soup.