June 22, 2024


Food & Travel Enthusiast

Pars Delicacies delivers excellent Persian and Mediterranean specialties

Hen souvlaki, a person of the Greek dishes served at Pars. (Richard S. Dargan/For the Journal)

Pars Delicacies is 1 of the longest-jogging achievements stories on the Albuquerque cafe scene.

Iranian immigrants and married pair Mohammad and Shahnaz Tafti opened the cafe in 1984 in a little storefront on Montgomery. Their success spurred a move to a substantially greater location on the I-25 corridor in 2001. An growth followed to accommodate a burgeoning banquet business.

Prepandemic, it was an thrilling place to be on a Saturday evening. The sunken eating room less than a ceiling draped with fabric called to thoughts a lavish tent in the center of a desert oasis. You’d share plates of Persian, Greek and Turkish food items and watch stomach dancers set on a display, and when you remaining, you’d practically invariably go a line of individuals waiting around to get in.

It was just the type of lively scene that the COVID-19 squashed.

An appetizer of mast-o khiar, a yogurt-dependent dip, with triangles of pita bread. (Richard S. Dargan/For the Journal)

In fact, when I visited Pars for lunch a short while ago, the server, who was otherwise vivid and cheery, grew a minimal melancholy chatting of the pandemic’s consequences. Enterprise experienced been slow, she reported, and to make matters even worse, the takeout consumers experienced stopped tipping.

The scene that working day echoed her text. The eating area was vacant conserve for a lone diner scraping leftovers from his plate into a Styrofoam container.

Persian baklava, one particular of Pars’ dessert selections, with Turkish coffee. (Richard S. Dargan/For the Journal)

Situations like these could bring about a restaurant to loosen its standards, but the meals coming out of the Pars kitchen that working day was fantastic. An appetizer of mast-o khiar ($6), Farsi for yogurt and cucumber, arrived on a plate with triangles of fresh new, heat pita bread organized close to it like the points of a crown. Great and bitter, the dip resembles Greek tzatziki and Indian raita, but the addition of walnuts and a weighty dose of dill gives it a tiny a lot more heft. I informed my good friend we could cancel the relaxation of our buy and just try to eat this.

Fortunately, we soldiered as a result of the rest of the menu, which is divided between Persian and Mediterranean specialties. Pars gives a stellar version the Persian stew Fesenjan ($12) manufactured from sautéed walnuts floor up in pomegranate sauce. The dish originated from an spot of northern Iran together the Caspian Sea where by pomegranates are considered to have originated. The fruit represented immortality and fertility in Persian lifestyle. Pars’ variation is thick and earthy, with an extreme sweet and bitter taste that you lower with spoonfuls of nutty, aromatic basmati rice served on a independent plate. Hen, a customary accompaniment to this dish, fees $4 extra.

Pars’ Mediterranean entrees are hefty with Greek specialties like moussaka, gyros and dolmas. In an get of Souvlaki Chicken ($13), big cubes of white meat rooster gilded with paprika and charred at the edges from the hearth had been served off the skewer. The chicken was moist and smoky and picked up a minor zing of acid from the marinade. It was served with a cup of mast-o khiar and rice. The lamb or beef edition is $3 much more.

The menu carries a lengthy list of desserts, most for considerably less than $5. Persian Baklava ($3.50) is a variation of the common Greek version. Instead of becoming layered, the filo dough is wrapped all-around a floor almond and pistachio filling that drips with honey and rosewater, a common sweetener in Iranian cooking that, as the identify signifies, imparts slight flowery notes. It was really good and, as with the Greek version, the smaller serving is extra than enough.

There is a rather substantial beverages menu with beer, wine and wine-based mostly cocktails. At $5, a cup of Turkish espresso in a demitasse cup operates out to about a quarter a sip. Even now, each just one of those people sips packed a wallop of sugar and espresso. It was served with a piece of Turkish Delight, the popular gummy sweet coated in powdered sugar.

Pars has a lot of gluten-absolutely free and vegetarian solutions. The menu has several sampler plates that are a good way to share a wide variety of appetizers, kebabs and desserts.

The server experienced an extensive information of the menu and was astute plenty of to steer me away from some misguided combos.

Belly dancers or not, Pars is well worth a trip. The pandemic hasn’t affected its top quality. It remains at the prime of the city’s Middle Japanese/Mediterranean scene.