best Healthful Eating (2002)

Persian Garden Cafe

This stuff is truly good for you, and truly special. You can eat like a pig, yet leave still feeling petite. Even better, it's one of the only health food places in town that looks like a real, elegant restaurant rather than a hippie hangout hut.

What's magical? How about merza farangee (grilled eggplant with sautéed onion, garlic, tomato, fresh herbs, feta and olive oil, dipped with toasted garlic pita and cucumber-yogurt sauce), hummus-tabbouleh pita, or tofu portobello (sautéed silken tofu, spinach, onion, garlic, ginger root, tomato, feta, olive oil, lemon and soy sauce with brown rice, toasted almond-saffron-raisin)? When we crave chicken, we get it spicy with mushroom, bell pepper, onion, scallion, ginger root, celery, garlic, tomatoes, fresh herbs, Persian spices, feta and soy sauce. And while there's no beef, we can get shrimp (scampi) and lamb (gyros).

Even dessert is delicious, with velvety vegan creations including pumpkin pie, carrot and cheese cakes, or Persian saffron rice pudding. It's all a dream, capped with a hot cup of Persian chai tea with rose water, rose petals and cardamom.

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