dave and i found a new restaurant and a new cuisine.
only a couple blocks from our house is a tiny neon green cement building. it houses the "shiraz" restaurant. this place is authentic persian cuisine from the owners to the clientele. we sat down for the meal and every person through the door while we were there spoke in persian? arabic?
anyway, the woman owner was incredibly friendly and patient with us (i think she thought we were crazy for not ordering tea with our meal) and promptly brought us not only what we ordered but additional goodies. dave ordered a chicken stew and saffron rice dish. the stew was surprisingly flavorful for the solid brown color it had. it had an overall sweet taste from the pomegranate, walnut, cinnamon, clove, and other flavors. the liquid of the stew was best ladled over the rice, while the chicken in the stew provided a good balance of savory against all the sweetness.
i ordered two things: a lentil and noodle soup and a chicken rice dish. i had never had a soup that even reminded me of this one. it was thick but not creamy. it had noodles and lentils and beans and green spices and some oil and sour cream-type stuff was swirled on top. mixed all together it was fabulous. my chicken dish, however, was perhaps what a wimpy white person would order. it was mostly void of any memorable flavor except for having a generic mildly sweet taste.
dessert was baklava. while my favorite baklava comes from shatila in dearborn, mi, this was a new type of baklava experience. it wasnt loaded with pistachios (which shatila does so fabulously for me) but it had its own thing going for it. it wasnt just crammed with dry walnut paste, there was something more spicy about the filling, and it was great. and instead of being soaked with a sugary, goopy honey, there was something (rose water?, something else?) that mixed with the honey to bring out the flavors of the pastry without just making me go into honey overload and end in sugar shock.
to round out the meal, the friendly owner lady treated us to a fried pita/rice side dish that went great with daves stew. yum! and while we were licking our fingers from the baklava, she offered us some dates. they were great. not dry, not too sugary. really, really good. and to top it all off, the meal was cheap. it goes without saying we will be back to sample more of the menu and kindness. they also have a larger location we may have to try one day.