Don't be fooled by the name. This place is neither a market nor a cafe, and they don't have an orchard in their backyard. This is a delicious Persian restaurant in a REALLY random strip mall (you know me and my love for random strip mall restaurants).
I've been wanting to go here for so long, and finally decided to when I was in the mood for something ethnic and Chili's wasn't going to cut it :) I am SO glad we came. This really is a gem of a place and I hope that it continues to thrive. First of all, I must mention it is a BYOB and so I brought along that delicious Argentinian Malbec that I blogged about previously. It went great with the food. But, let's start talking about it.
We ordered two appetizers, the Mango Shrimp ($8.95) and the Hummus ($4.95). The mango shrimp was Dan's favorite, and mine was the hummus. I felt that the shrimp, which was made with with onions and vegetables in a mango chutney and garlic sauce, was waaaaaaaaaaaaay too saucy, and almost too sweet. There also wasn't enough shrimp for the sauce, nor enough bread. OK, this sounds like I don't like it...and I admit I wasn't floored- but Dan loved it.
There was a substantial amount of hummus, and I wished there was more bread. I didn't really understand the whole deal with the pickles, but I kept going. Overall it was a very smooth and yummy hummus, with a mint flavor to it which threw me off a little bit. I think, if I had the choice I wouldn't order either of these and order this choice instead: Haleem Bademjune
A dip of eggplant and beans with sour cream, garlic, walnuts and spices. Similar to baba ganoush.
($5.95). Mmmm doesn't that sound yummy?
For the main meal, Dan chose the Mixed Kebobs dish which came with beef tenderloin, ground beef, and chicken breasts ($16.95). Overall, this was very tasty and prepared very well but I think because I can get the same thing at Moby Dick's in Silver Spring for half the price...it underwhelmed me.
Oh dear, this doesn't seem like a positive post, does it? I think this was a really good meal, but not something I would order- so I guess that it's hard to recommend it. If you wanted to try Persian food for the first time-- this is the way to go to be introduced to the flavors in a very safe way. Oh yea, and rice was cooked perfectly!
But here is where I first saw fireworks. The Chicken Fesenjune ($16-17...i forget). AMAZING. AMAZING. YUMMY. DELICIOUSNESS ALL AROUND. Chicken Fesenjune is chicken in a walnut-pomegranate sauce. This sauce is probably the most incredible sauce out of the history of all sauces. There's a perfect balance of tangy and sweet from the pomegranate, while the walnuts gave the sauce good body. The chicken was amazing! It was falling from the bone and every bite in my mouth was heavenly. I really cannot get over this dish.
This is saying a lot because I've had this dish many times, in fact it is my favorite Persian dish-- and this meet my expectations and more. I WHOLE HEARTEDLY recommend this dish to you. Please try it and let me know what you think. It's a classic Persian dish that I think a lot of people wouldn't think twice about ordering. Please think twice!
You'd think that after that culinary delight, my senses wouldn't be able to handle anything else....oh but I HAD to try dessert! When you ask for the dessert menu, they actually bring a tray out with all their desserts, and there were quite a number of choices (mostly cake-like). The napoleon was also on the tray, which was a flaky pastry stuffed with saffron ice cream and topped with candied orange peel.
YUM. I WISH A PLATE OF THIS WOULD DROP IN MY LAP RIGHT NOW AND FALL UPRIGHT WITH A SPOON SO THAT I CAN EAT IT.
The saffron ice cream is subtle but flavorful and pairs incredibly well with the light pastry. The candied orange is a reallly nice touch, and even though it may have been mostly for a garnish-- i still polished it off. But honestly, the ice cream is really where the love was. I pretty much gasped with delight at each bite. Oh yea, and Dan loved it too :O)
Please go there and support this delicious restaurant!!!!