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A fast-casual Helmand headed for East Baltimore

East Baltimore is getting a fast-casual Helmand.

A fast-casual version of The Helmand is coming to East Baltimore.

The Karzai family will open a lunch-focused adaptation of its celebrated Afghan restaurant in early 2016 at the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins, an 88-acre mixed-use science campus under development in Baltimore's Middle East neighborhood. 

The restaurant will occupy an untenanted space at 929 N. Wolfe St., according to Helmand Karzai.

The new restaurant will offer a similar menu to that at the Karzai's flagship restaurant in Mount Vernon, but with a more casual serving style and more Afghan street-food options. But Helmand's best-loved dishes will be offered, including the kaddo borwani, an appetizer of sauteed and pan-fried baby pumpkins.

The idea of re-thinking the Helmand menu for a casual audience is something that his family "has been thinking about for years," Helmand Karzai said.

In addition to the original Helmand on Charles Street, which Helmand's parents, Qayum and Patricia, opened in 1989, the family's other restaurants include Tapas Teatro and Pen & Quill in Charles North and B in Bolton Hill.

Helmand Karzai said that the family has not made a final decision about seeking a liquor license for the East Baltimore restaurant. Neither have they settled on the new restaurant's name.

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