Friends of mine invited me to lunch. I was going to say no and go workout, but the location was a Persian restaurant in Longwood. I rarely say no to new experiences, especially when they include food!
The location was Ali Baba House of Kabob in Longwood, FL. For my first Persian dining experience, I was happy! They offer a lunch buffet and even though we came in late, the kitchen made sure to have fresh kabobs out for us. The owner was very polite and let us know that even though the buffet was closing, whatever we needed would be brought out fresh from the kitchen.
I feasted on:
- Persian style rice (saffron basmati rice mixed with lentil):
- YUMMY! The rice was moist and the lentils added a subtle surprise. It should be paired with everything.
- Gormeh sabz (green onion, parsley, spinach and herbs sautéed and cooked with beef)
- I enjoyed this dish, it had good flavor without being overpowering with spices
- Mirzaghassemi (baked eggplant blended with tomatoes, garlic, eggs, and spices)
- I’ll be honest, not really my favorite. However, I was told that it is an acquired taste, so I felt better.
- Kibbe (oval-shaped ground beef, bulgar wheat, herbs and spice; deep fried and served with yogurt sauce)
- This was a yummy treat. It is definitely best eaten with the yogurt.
- Mast-o-khriar (chopped cucumber mixed with creamy yogurt)
- Good for cutting any spice on anything. Is good with the fresh pita style bread.
- Shirazi salad (chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and mint mixed with lemon juice, olive oil and spices)
- Eat it, love it, you are welcome.
- Chicken and Beef Koubideh (charbroiled minced seasoned meats)
- A lower end cut of beef. This was probably my least favorite. The meat wasn’t very well seasoned and had an odd texture to it. However it pairs well with mast-o-khriar.
To finish it all off we had chai tea and baklava (YUMMY!)
As an introduction to Persian food, I was satisfied. The service was good and it was a pleasant dining experience.
However, the best part of the day for me was getting to spend time with wonderful friends. It was so great to get to experience food from their homeland, share stories of different cultural experiences, and get to know each other better.