Teaneck Kebab House
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|Teaneck Kebab House|
|Current owner(s)||Aqbal Qurbanzada|
|City||Teaneck, New Jersey|
|County||Bergen County, New Jersey|
Aqbal Qurbanzada founded the establishment in 2002; he had fled Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1985, and traveled to the United States where he began work in the food industry in New York City. Qurbanzada expanded a pizzeria into a restaurant focused on Afghan foods, and decorated the establishment with rugs and clothing from his country of origin.
Aqbal Qurbanzada founded the restaurant in 2002, and serves multiple roles including owner, designer, and chef. Qurbanzada was a teacher in Afghanistan, and fled the capital Kabul in 1985 amidst Soviet occupation of the country. He traveled through the Khyber Pass, to Islamabad, Pakistan, to the United States. Qurbanzada met with a cousin in New York City, and began working in the food industry there. He purchased a pizzeria in New Jersey and subsequently expanded it into an Afghan restaurant.
Qurbanzada decorated the restaurant with carpets from Afghanistan. The Record described the decor of the establishment, "The Kebab House is a comfortable room whose walls are decorated with mostly dark red rugs and glistening Afghan vests and caps. There are scenes of the old country, unusual food-serving implements". In 2007, The New York Times reported that the establishment was "one of very few" in New Jersey with a focus on Afghan foods. In 2010, the restaurant moved to become part of the establishment "Gateway of India", and vacated its prior location at DeGraw Avenue.
Dishes at the restaurant include flavored kebabs and an appetizer dish mantoo made from ground beef dumplings. All entrees at the restaurant are served with "a small salad already dressed in yogurt and lemon juice", and Afghan bread. In 2006, Zarah Amimi was a chef at the establishment.
Victor E. Sasson gave the restaurant a favorable review for The Record in 2006, and commented, "You're adventurous, but there's always that one dish you order time and again at your favorite restaurant. At Teaneck Kebab House, a richly decorated corner of Afghanistan in Teaneck, that dish is an appetizer of meat-filled dumplings in a yogurt sauce that are made from scratch, just like all the other dishes on the full menu of kebabs, curries and vegetarian items." A 2007 review in The New York Times included the restaurant in a piece, "Standouts Among the Year's Best", giving the restaurant a rating of "very good".[note 1]
David Corcoran of The New York Times commented that after dining at the restaurant, "I ... was rewarded with a couple of this year’s most delightful meals". In 2008, New Jersey Monthly selected Teaneck Kebab House as "Critics' Choice" for "Best Middle Eastern". In a 2009 review of the restaurant for The Record, Jeffrey Page gave the establishment a rating of three stars out of four, and concluded, "The Kebab House is a good place to strike up an acquaintance [sic] with Afghan cooking."
- The paper explained its standards: "Of the 46 restaurants we reviewed, 21 (or 46 percent) received one of the top ratings: 3 excellent, 18 very good."
- "Teaneck Kebab House - CLOSED". Yelp. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
- Corcoran, David (December 30, 2007). "Standouts Among the Year's Best". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. 10; Section: New Jersey, Dining. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- Sasson, Victor E. (May 3, 2006). "Meat dumplings, Afghan style". The Record. North Jersey Media Group Inc. p. F03.
- "Readers' and Critics' Choice – Restaurant Poll Winners 2008". New Jersey Monthly. New Jersey Monthly Magazine. July 10, 2008. p. 55. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- Corcoran, David (October 21, 2007). "A Lucky Escape, for the Chef and Diners". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Lisberg, Adam; Barbara Williams (June 5, 2003). "Mideast news stirs optimism, skepticism in N.J.". The Record. North Jersey Media Group Inc. p. A17.
- Page, Jeffrey (July 31, 2009). "Eating Out on $50: Teaneck Kebab House". The Record. North Jersey Media Group Inc. p. G19.
- "Teaneck Kebab House relocates". The Record. North Jersey Media Group Inc. June 11, 2010. p. G20.