M-Sa (9AM-10PM), Su (10AM-10PM)
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(Covid Update Dec 2021 – in business) Almost every weekend, I find myself crossing the bridge to Morrisville to get some groceries at the Morrisville Garden Farm Market. And almost every week, I pass by the recently opened Jahan Kabob & Grill restaurant, located in the same strip mall as the Market, and wonder if it is any good. When it first relocated here (from its previous Langhorne address), I was put off by the signs on the window advertising fried chicken, breakfast waffles, and hot wings, but I was intrigued by the promise of fresh falafel, flavorful curries, and creamy hummus.
A few weeks ago, I finally looked the plunge, and entered into a delightful world of traditional Afghan cuisine. When I took my first bite of their falafel on pita, I knew that this restaurant must be included on Hidden Trenton. Now, after a few more visits and a broader sampling of their menu, I’m pleased to be able to list it as one of our top-rated area restaurants.
The modest shop is run by Abdul, an Afghan native who has had restaurants in Pennsylvania for the last 30 years. He previously operated his Jahan across the street, in what is now a tobacco shop, he later moved to Langhorne, and now he’s back. It’s a clean but very casual place, and in my visits they’ve seemed to cater to a reasonably large take-out crowd. There are a handful of stools by the window and maybe 6 small tables that seat 3-4. In the back, underneath a giant TV that is on too often and too loud is a traditional floor rug and pillows. You order at the counter, but if you’re eating in, Abdul or one of his relatives will bring out your meal for you and bus the table appropriately. Sure, the plates have chips in them and the atmosphere couldn’t be more casual. But once you take a bite, you won’t care.
The traditional samosas (which you can order vegetarian or with meat) are thin, flaky, and utterly surprising. Served with three chutneys (the cilantro chutney is heavenly), they would remind one most of Chinese scallion pancakes, though they are moister and more delicate. It would be a sin to order these to-go; if you eat them in-house, they arrive still steaming hot, wafting delicious odors and making your fellow diners’ heads turn. The hummus is good, not the creamiest, but it’s served with an astonishingly fresh afghan naan, much thicker and more piquant than its Indian cousin, still warm from being cooked.
The falafal sandwich (a bargain at $5.99) was one of the best I’ve had. The pita was excellent (perhaps it was store-bought, but the quality was superb) and generously smeared with Afghan hummus. The falafel was freshly fried, and then flattened on the grill for extra crunch. Order yours with “the works,” and you’ll get a smattering of vegetables and their excellent tzatziki-style sauce.
We also enjoyed their Chicken Seekh Kabob, which was delicious and grilled perfectly. Served over a flavorful seasoned rice, it comes with a very pleasant appetizer salad. The Chicken Kofta (patties of ground meat) were served in a savory and spice-filled red sauce. The Vegetarian Mix had a combination of seared vegetables, served with rice and a rich yellow Afghan Daal. No complaints about any of it, and the portion sizes are excellent. Prices for entrees hover around $10, with kabobs a dollar so so cheaper, and sandwiches around $5-$6. Breakfast pricing is also reasonable ($3.50 for a breakfast sandwhich, $3.95 for a BLT that comes with halal bacon, $4.95 for 2 eggs with grits or home fries, toast, and meat).
We haven’t yet tried the gyros, the side dishes, the traditional soups that are sometimes offered as specials, or the breakfast (which includes traditional Western breakfasts as well as Persian Eggs & Kabob). Of course, we plan to skip the fried chicken and the wings.
There is ample parking in Jahan’s strip mall, which is located just across the bridge from Trenton. Sure, it’s about as casual as they come. This isn’t a joint to take a first date too. But if you’re looking for flavor and good value, be sure to try out Jahan’s.