Persian kebabs, please make way for Afghan kebabs: Main Bakhtar Halal Kabab has taken over the Hicksville storefront that was, from 2015 until earlier this year, Miraj Healthy Grill. (The original Miraj, on Hillside Avenue in Williston Park, is still going strong.)
Main Bakhtar makes five types of kebab: chicken tikka, beef tikka and lamb tikka are bite-sized pieces that are marinated, threaded onto a skewer and grilled. For chicken kofta and beef kofta, the meat is ground, mixed with spices, formed around the skewer and grilled.
In addition to kebabs, there are grilled lamb chops. These six meat options are mixed and matched in more than 30 combinations, from small (one chicken tikka, one chicken kofta, $8.99) to huge: the Bakhtar combo, for 7 to 8 people, includes five lamb chops and 13 assorted kebabs for $75. All orders come on an enormous pile of brown basmati rice with salad, bread and green (spicy) and white (creamy) sauces.
There are also Afghan dumplings and turnovers, burgers, fried fish, chicken nuggets and cheese steaks.
The new Main Bakhtar is the latest link in a little kebab chain that includes another restaurant in Flushing and two carts in Jackson Heights. The Hicksville spot occupies a culinary space midway between cart and restaurant: there is a dining room with comfortable tables and chairs, but amenities are few and you order at the counter.
Before Miraj, this spot was occupied by three short-lived Indian restaurants at the same address — Taste of Madras, Curry Club and Aspara. Before that, the space hosted a string of Italians: Fabio’s, Taormina, Café Dolce Vita and Pasta’s Café, which opened in 1985.
Main Bakhtar Halal Kabab is at 96 N. Broadway, Hicksville, 516-622-6669.