July 31, 2022

Miri Persian Kitchen - Memorial Drive

 A new and wonderful Iranian restaurant has opened inside the loop. A group of us enjoyed a wonderful familly style platter of classic grilled meats. But, we also shared the fesenjan (one of the best I have had in Houston), a thick yogurt dip with dry shallots (I learned about this from an Iranian friend. The best are a type of wild shallot harvested in Iran. An Iranian grocery store ( iran-iranian-bakery-and-grocery-store.html ) on Wilcrest does sell big bags of dried shallots and I've bought from them for making this at home), hummus and a plate of radishes, parsley, basil, white cheese. That fesenjan though. I'm already dreaming about going back.

Still, I have an allegiance to the wonderful Avesta on Wilcrest as well, and I will have to split my visits between both of these. As Avesta is wonderful, also. 

John Nechman writes of our lunch today:

"Another piece of Houston’s beautiful puzzle—one of the largest Iranian populations in the country, and that translates into several sensational Iranian restaurants. Based on lunch today, Miri’s Kitchen Persian at 5801 Memorial Dr. near the entrance to Memorial Park, is my choice for the best of them all ( https://www.miriskitchen.com ).

And what a treat to share a meal there today with some of Houston’s foodie elite—Bellaire-Asiatown Mayor Michael Shum, Mr. Chowhound Jay P. Francis and his wife Irene, and Coffee-teur Allen Leibowitz, co-founder of Ann Arbor, Michigan’s beloved Zingerman’s. Being a large group meant that we were able to try the best of the menu.
The restaurant is welcoming and airy with soaring ceilings and lovely plateware. The choice of background music (Dan Fogelberg’s greatest hits?) could use some work, however. We started with a respectable hummus and the obligatory plate in most Persian establishments of herbs, radishes, and feta-like cheese served with flatbread, perfect for rolling the healthiest tacos in town. But then, the kitchen really started to show what it could do.
A vibrant, minty shirazi salad, sort of like a Turkish farmer’s salad, paired perfectly with a scrumptious kashk bademjan (eggplant dip), which we were all fervently attacking with the gusto of a child given honors with the leftovers of granny’s buttercream frosting.
And then our delightful Kazakh server Aseeya cleared the table to make room for a plate she had suggested for us, the size, scope, and beauty of which left us all gasping and drooling: a family-style silver platter designed for the 5 of us but looking like it could feed Cyrus the Great and a couple of his platoons. Heaping mounds of saffron-gilded rice and baghali polo were festooned with juicy, top-quality sultani kebabs, lamb kebabs, dainty quail, lamb chops, 2 types of marinated grilled chicken, and chunks of filet mignon that you would expect to pay a fortune for at a pricey steakhouse. A combination of colorful sweet and spicy roasted peppers and tomatoes completed the picture. We also added a fessenjan (whole pieces of chicken drenched in a dense, exotic sauce of walnuts and pomegranates) that left us all stunned with awe. And one of my favorite dishes was one of the simplest—a bowl of creamy yogurt blended with dry shallots, which feature prominently in many Persian dishes, Jay Francis informed us.
For the quality and quantity of the food, this feast is a remarkable bargain, and the restaurant is willing to size up the servings according to the number of diners partaking. The menu also features a remarkable number of vegan dishes, and while they await a liquor license, Miri’s is BYOB with no corkage fee!
I already have the perfect Texas red blend in mind to enjoy the next time we dine here, which will be very soon. "

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