Rania's Kabob Grill: Afghan Cuisine Has Come to Gilbert (With Delivery!)

Categories: First Taste

Lauren Saria
Beef Keemah Kabob at Rania's in Chandler.
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Lauren Saria
Restaurant: Rania's Kabob Grill
Location: 1674 N. Higley Rd., Gilbert
Open: About a month
Eats: Afghani
Price: $15 to $20 per person

We can thank the Ansari family for this Afghan restaurant, located in a shopping complex just south of the US 60 on Higley Road. The restaurant offers a menu of Afghan cuisine including a version of qabili palau, often considered Afghanistan's national dish.

More importantly though for Gilbert-ites: they deliver.

See also: Sazón Bachata: The Caribbean Comes to Grand Avenue in Phoenix

Lauren Saria
Bolani from Rania's in Gilbert.
And delivery might be an better option than navigating Rania's funky service situation. That's because the restaurant is designed to be a counter service operation, with a menu on the wall, a serve-yourself soda machine and even little number holders on the tables. But when we stopped in we were told to seat ourselves and we handed menus by a friendly waitress, who explained (later in the meal) that the restaurant had recently switched from counter to full-service.

But on to the food. We started with an duo of chicken samosas ($2), which featured superbly moist ground chicken mixed with potatoes, peas, onions, cliantro, and other spices. The turnovers were encased by a thick, crisp shell of dough and pan fried, leaving the dish a little too oily for some. But not enough that it discouraged us from finishing every last bite.

Lauren Saria
Rania's salad bar offers more than just the usual fare.
We also tried the bolani ($6.95), a dish that's sort of like an Indian paratha. The turnover is filled with potatoes, scallions, and spices then folded in half and grilled. The dough itself might remind you of a crepe as it's thin and just a little bit stretchy. It makes for a tasty and filling appetizer, particularly if you use the accompanying cilantro chutney -- though it tasted like jalapenos to us.

Pretty much every entree on the menu comes with a choice of naan or salad and both are honestly good options. The naan here is fluffy though, sort of like a mix between naan and pita bread, with a doughy inside and crispy, oven-baked exterior. And as for the salad option, you get a little bowl and all-you-can-eat access to Rania's salad bar. There are options like kidney beans, raisins, pickled brusselsprouts, and chickpeas to put on top of your lettuce. As well as a very garlicky yogurt-based House Creamy dressing, among other options.

Location Info

Rania's Kabob Grill

1674 N. Higley Rd., Gilbert, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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