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Silk Road Bistro

Photo: Lee Gardner, License: N/A, Created: 2011:03:04 02:31:22

Lee Gardner


Silk Road Bistro

607 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 878-2929

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Truth be told, we knew next to nothing about Uzbek cuisine—or, indeed, the Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan itself—before a reader’s tip sent us up Reisterstown Road to an unpromising-looking mini-strip storefront. Inside, however, we found a compact but elegant dining room and a menu of dirt-cheap dishes both familiar (kebabs, pilav) and enticingly otherwise. A bowl of shurpa soup ($4.45) dunked two large chunks of lamb (one still attached to a stalk of bone) into a bowl of light and subtle pho-like broth that almost made us wish for a straw; carrots, potatoes, and chickpeas bobbed amid a liberal sprinkle of hopped fresh dill—a ubiquitous ingredient here. An order of manti ($5.95), four palm-sized steamed dumplings filled with chopped lamb, enclosed delicately spiced meat within glistening wrappers, accompanied by a yogurt sauce. (Manti also comes pan-fried and/or stuffed with pumpkin or potatoes.) The beef kebab tenderloin ($3.45) presented a skewer of seared meat, a heap of thinly sliced red onion, and a slightly peppery red sauce: simple and delicious. A side of potatoes with mushrooms ($5.95) turned out to be a plateful of hand-cut french fries topped with sautéed mushrooms and yet more dill—a surprising variation, but a welcome one. And Snapple probably gets no traction in Uzbekistan thanks to what the English menu calls “homemade fruit drink” ($1.45), a light, not-too-sweet ringer. Though we were intrigued by the “dry fruits assortment,” at $9.95 one of the most expensive items on the menu, we were way too stuffed for dessert, and all for less than $25. But we’ll be back; Silk Road is a find.

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