Hospitality is at the heart of Maza Kabob, an Afghan restaurant in Fort Collins, CO. Run by Kabul native Sayed Sayied, the place would be easy to miss; it’s hidden on the backside of a generic shopping complex, next to a hot tub dealer. Not sure what to order? Ask. Sayied loves steering guests toward his favorite dishes, including skewers of tender steak and juicy chicken marinated for 6-plus hours and bolani, a flaky, grilled, stuffed flatbread that tastes a bit like a charred samosa. The latter was a popular street food in Afghanistan, where Sayied grew up; he is so proud of his bolani, he used to sell it from a hot dog cart he ran in downtown Denver. (We can attest: It’s damn good.) Kebabs come with heaping helpings of aromatic rice and hearty potato korma. Thankfully, Sayied isn’t afraid to dial up the garlic and spices. Nothing is too fiery—just delicious and complex, with a depth of flavor best epitomized by the burrani, coins of char-grilled eggplant drenched in “yogurt salad.” Sayied can’t take the credit for that one though; the eggplant recipe belongs to his wife Fariha. Straight up, Maza is a must.
2427 S. College Ave., Fort Collins, CO; 970-484-6292.