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“Great Authentic Food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Helmand

The Helmand
143 1st St, Cambridge, MA 02142-1205
617-492-4646
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Ranked #13 of 553 Restaurants in Cambridge
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Afghan, Middle Eastern
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Mew Orleans
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Great Authentic Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Second time we've been there. Food is great, and service is good. We sat a bit close to the kitchen so it was hot due to the open flames - in winter that would be good!

Visited August 2013
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258 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    134
    88
    28
    4
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“First choice to take everyone visiting!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Awesome place to take anyone visiting us in Boston. Amazing flavors. Good vines. Hospitable. All in all perfect..

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Top Contributor
611 reviews 611 reviews
130 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 202 cities Reviews in 202 cities
510 helpful votes 510 helpful votes
“Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

The meal started with those great Afghan fire roasted bread and three seasonings, one of cilantro, one of yogurt and a third that was a peppery red dip. I had lamb that was marinated and then grilled with tomatoes, onions and peppers, accompanied with a rice that had a great seasoning and eggplant with tomatoes. My companion had trout with the same sides and we topped off our meal with a baklava equivalent that had a rosewater flavor. The wine selection was extensive and good.

The service was attentive and pleasant. On a Friday at 5 pm we were the first reservation through the door and it was not crowded so there was plenty of time to get to our 6:40 movie at Kendall Square.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Boston
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“The Good, The Bad & The Lambchops”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

We had a reservation for a later dinner, but found we would be able to dine earlier than expected and called the restaurant to let them know that we could be there in 15 minutes and they readily accommodated our change. When we arrived, we found a large restaurant that was quite busy, but our table was ready for us and we were shown to it quickly.

The menu has many selections and a decent number are, surprisingly, vegetarian. I went for the lamb and my friend had one of the vegetarian dishes that featured pumpkin. The bread and trio of dipping sauces is excellent. The lamb (3 small chops) was all over the place. One piece was very rare, another well-done and the 3rd chop was the only one cooked medium (which was what had been requested). The pumpkin was very good, but it was quite sweet and I don't think I could have eaten an entire plate of it. As an appetizer, sure. A meal, not so much.

Do avoid the bathroom at all cost! It's a bit of a shock to walk into as you feel as though you have been transported to a highway rest stop with peeling brown paint on the metal stall doors that look as though they have never met a dust rag or a sponge. Now that bathroom would be perfect if you just needed a place to shoot heroin between your toes, but when all you need is a place to wash your hands before you sit down to have a $26 plate of lamb, you sort of expect at least a little occasional basic housekeeping is taking place in the restrooms. Here's hoping the kitchen is cleaned a little more regularly.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Lexington, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Consistently outstanding.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

Echoing the favorable sentiment espoused by most Tripadvisor reviews, the dishes here are for the most part excellent. We were able to make a last minute reservation last night, and I had the Mourgh Kabab entree with a vegetarian Kaddo side dish (I usually get the theeka kabab, which is excellent and highly recommended) - rich flavors & spices. My wife had the Aushak entree and banjan side dish. The baklava and Turkish coffee is always a great way to end dinner. In the past I've had the Qoremay Ma-he, which was so so - the last time I ordered it it was way overcooked/dry & bland.

Friendly and attentive service, but I've noticed certain servers who get flustered/overwhelmed since this place gets packed/busy regularly.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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