#20: Shahrzad Fine Persian Cuisine

Today I went to Shahrzad.  This is a Persian restaurant located on Sunrise just north of the canal in Plaza De Oro.  I’ve been here once or twice before, but a long time ago, and got kabob both times.  I arrived just after 11AM.  A couple tables were already seated but it was otherwise very quiet, with several staff members waiting patiently for business when I walked in.  Outside is a courtyard with a (now dry) fountain and several permanent tables.  They have some shade set up in the form of gazebos.  Some are kind of falling apart though (not apparent in my photo, but part of the fabric roof is heavily torn on the far right gazebo).

Inside the space is very big.  I wonder if they ever fill up.  Definitely has a lot of room for big parties.  My photo only shows a small sliver of the dining room.  I was seated over by the window.  I liked how they kept everyone pretty separated early on.  It’s weird when you get seated next to the only other group in an otherwise empty room.  As I was sitting down my server asked if he could get me a drink.  I asked for water for now.  The next time he came back he asked again, apparently having forgotten.  More on the service later.  I just ordered a Dr. Pepper [$2.75].

I was aware they had a few salads, and here’s what I saw on the menu:

  • Shirazi Salad (Fresh chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley and onions with olive oil & vinegar)[$5.99]
  • Green Salad (Heart of Romain lettuce, tomatoes, shredded carrots, cucumbers, red cabbage and onions)[$6.99]
  • House Salad (Heart of Romain lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, olives, pepperocinis, red cabbage and shredded carrots, topped with feta cheese {add chicken for $6.99})[$11.99]

I was leaning House because I wanted to add the chicken, but I was really curious why there was such a big gap in price from the Green to it when all I could see being the difference was olives, pepperocinis and feta cheese.  I asked about it, wondering if maybe the House was considerably bigger or something, and was told they are the same size.  It didn’t make much sense to me but I went ahead with the House anyway and added the chicken.

Meanwhile, I was served complimentary pita bread pockets with a block of feta cheese, basil and butter on the side.  The basil was quite fresh and strong in both flavor and aroma.  I had a couple pieces of the pita bread with a mix of all three sides.  The bread was slightly warm but cooled off quickly after it had arrived.  The cheese was delicious and soft, easy to spread onto the bread.  Different, but a nice little starter.

Soon my server had come back to apologize about his own misunderstanding of the menu.  Apparently he got the salads mixed up, I don’t really know.  The order process and his answer to my question seemed straightforward enough.  I was curious about what I was going to receive now.  When my salad finally arrived (took about 10 min), it looked great.  It was close to what I was expecting, but was missing a few things.  No olives, cheese or pepperocinis.  It appeared to be the House salad with chicken.  Indeed, now that I look online I see that this menu has a 4th salad which was missing from the menu in the restaurant, the M. Shahrzad Salad, which is simlply Hot chopped chicken served on a green salad [$14.99].  Even stranger, I was only charged $11.99 for the salad, so I really have no idea what went down.  Maybe he charged me less because of the error?  Anyway, lets get to eating.

It was a good size, and in the end it was one of the most filling I’ve had since I began this blog.  There was a good amount of fresh Romain, crisp onions and thin-sliced cucumbers.  The shredded carrots were there but those were quite sparse.  On the side was half of a tomato, grilled.  In addition there were several slices (perhaps the other half?) of cold tomato under the chicken.  And the chicken, wow.  So much more than I was expecting and it was incredible.  It looked like it had been cooked in spices, probably yoghurt as well.  It was perfectly tender and very juicy.  While it was not spicy-hot, it was overall very spiced.  Loads of flavor was packed throughout the entire salad.

I was very pleased with the food.  The service had more than a couple little issues, but nothing huge.  My server definitely needed to brush up on the menu some more, and maybe also not take a bath in cologne before work.  Other than that he was very friendly and was on top of my refill before I even knew I needed it.  If you dig Persian food it’s certainly worth a visit.

Website: http://www.shahrzadrestaurant.com/

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