Afghani Pizza

By Charlie White

Most Macalester students are (more than) open to trying non-American food. Most of them will occasionally gladly skip out on their meal plan for Pad Thai, Vietnamese cuisine, or the numerous other non-Western restaurants in the area. But if you’re growing tired of cream cheese wontons and fried rice, perhaps it’s time to get a taste of a different culture’s take on food. Perhaps it’s time to think Afghani pizza.

The Crescent Moon Bakery in Minneapolis happens to proudly serve Afghani pizza as their specialty. Upon hearing this place existed, I just had to know exactly what makes Afghani pizza so unique. Entering the little building where Crescent Moon makes its home was quite tranquil. Beautiful soft music was playing, artwork covered much of the walls, lights were dim, and there were a number of plants scattered throughout the large room. Other than the cash register up front, it was as if I had entered a courtyard.

After looking over the menu, we decided to try the spinach pie as an appetizer (called a “tummy warmer” on the menu), and, of course, the Afghani pizza. There was a wide range of choices for toppings—ours was mushrooms and green peppers. After a fairly long wait, we were called to the front to collect our prize. The first thing to be noticed about the pizza was that it was elliptical rather than circular… oh, how exotic. It was also far too large for any two people with stomachs of normal sizes to consume in one sitting.

The menu warns customers that the homemade sauce on the Afghani pizza will “bite you back,” so I was prepared for something with a bit of spice to it. Indeed the preparation was necessary, for the pizza bit back quite hard. I had to take a break after one rectangular shaped slice and let my poor tongue rest for a minute. But it was completely worth it—the pizza was delicious. It just can’t be eaten at speeds higher than one slice every ten minutes or so, unless your tongue is coated in steel.

The spinach pie was also of a high quality; my only complaint was that the “appetizer” came at the same time as the pizza, meaning my tummy didn’t even have a chance to warm up as they claimed. In addition to these various vegetable pies and the Afghani pizza, other items on the menu include a variety of sandwiches (gyros, kabobs, and Afghani kabobs), a number of vegetarian options, and a variety of Afghani meat plates—everything is reasonably priced.

So if you’re looking for something a bit more interesting than the celebration of diversity at Caf’¨ Mac and don’t mind spices with a bite, it’s definitely worth the trip to Minneapolis to give the Crescent Moon Bakery a try.

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