Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ahmad's Persian Cuisine

1009 Howard Street
Omaha, NE 68102
Open Tues - Sunday, 11:30am - 2pm and 5:30pm - 10pm; closed Mon
Ahmad's Persian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Potato and Peas Poloe ($7.95 lunch/$14.95 dinner):
Poloe means "rice with stuff," from what I can gather. 

Don't freak out, people. The stretchy, soft flatbread served with the hummus here isn't pita. It's lavash, which is basically the national bread of Iran and the surrounding lands. You know, they sure do have some silly political leaders -- but boy, can they make some flatbread.

Mast-o-kyar ($5.95):
Yogurt and cucumber sauce with mint.
Use the lavash bread as a spoon. 

Lavash might remind you of tortilla. The mast-o-kyar -- which is Farsi for "yogurt and cucumber" -- might remind you of tzatziki sauce. And the dolmeh appetizer is probably a bit like other stuffed cabbage dishes you've had in the past. But everything had its own subtle twist, as if it is made according to one dude's recipe book that he keeps in his head.

Falafel Sandwich ($5.95 lunch):
Three falafel balls, each drizzled with tahini, eat it with your hands.
(That's a haiku.)

I thought it a bit odd that the open-faced falafel sandwich came with lettuce dressed in something similar to Thousand Island, and the discs of falafel were heavier than some, possibly due to the fava beans in the recipe. The potato and peas poloe only had two pieces of potato and looked a lot like the mixed vegetable poloe I had the week before. Still, all was yum. The spiciness came on in a strong, even wave, and I got the sense they go through a lot of lemons around these parts, judging from the bright citrus flavors in many of the dishes. Perfect for summer. 

This Old Market fixture has been here a while, truckin' along quietly on a busy corner, a few wooden tables on the patio usually staying occupied. The "WC" sign over the restroom and the size and ambiance remind me of any and every falafel joint in Berlin. At lunch, the waitress handles the whole restaurant like a superstar, and I imagine Ahmad in the kitchen, plating the food he loves to share, and maybe even painting those beautiful grill marks on the lavash, one by one. This place is off the chain. Kinda makes me feel like going on a trip to the Middle East. Oh wait, nevermind... 

Dolmeh ($6.95):
"Cabbage leaves stuffed with beef, vegetables, lentils
and topped with tomato based sauce, delicately seasoned." 

Mixed Vegetable Poloe ($7.95 lunch, $14.95 dinner),
in a lemon garlic sauce.

1 comment:

  1. I adore this place..
    Ahmad is amazing.. sent me out a bowl of soup while I waited just because he thought I might like it.
    Every bite that crossed my lips was amazing. Sitting out on the patio, our waiter serenaded us while our fellow diners simply joined our table and conversation like a long lost neighbor. You're almost uncomfortable when Ahmad doesn't just come sit with you, as he worked so hard to prepare your food you feel you should wait until he is seated to begin.
    So glad you reviewed this place =) =) =)