In between my quest to the Martin Luther King Library and visitation to Atomic Records and Schwartz (post coming later this week, too depressed after Atomic farewell), I wandered up Locust Street and found myself with some time to eat.
Not finding anything to my liking on the Locust strip in Riverwest, I turned north when I hit Oakland and opted for Shiraz Persian Grill. I'd been to their now-closed location in Wauwatosa (now Juniper 61, which I highly recommend), but hadn't ever eaten at what I believe is the original spot by the UWM campus.
I'm glad I stopped in.
Unlike the other location, this is much more deli like. You get to choose an entree, a rice and two sides. I selected the Chicken Koobideh plate, with raisin rice, hummus and falafel. The woman behind the counter highly recommended this dish, and I wasn't disappointed in the flavor at all. The texture took a little getting used to (it's ground chicken, reformed into a strip), but it was delicious on the warm pita surrounded by the raisin rice, which had sweet spices dancing on my tongue. The hummus was a little too runny for my liking, although it tasted alright (it did inspire me to make my own thicker homemade hummus yesterday). The real winner of the lunch selection was the falafel.
I'm a falafel snob, so I usually wind up disappointed. However, I honestly think the falafel at Shiraz is a culinary gateway to Heaven. The outside of the ball was crispy, but not burnt, and subtly spiced, just how it should be. You bit in and the inside melted in your mouth. I think an orchestra played with every bite.
I had leftover of everything else, but not the falafel. In fact, even though I'm full right now I could eat about 10 of those succulent snacks.
I washed it all down, by the way, with a fantastic lemongrass tea (they gave me a cup full of raw honey to add to it too), which I ended up spilling on the floor at Atomic.