Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Darvish Persian Tea House
11235 Alpharetta Hwy, Roswell, GA www.persianteahouse.com
Darvish is an experience. It's a large restaurant with lots of regular tables and at least a dozen "beds", the flat platforms covered with pillows and Persian rugs where you can dine sort of picnic style. (A word to the wise - the beds are hard and not advisable for people with back problems.) It's dimly lit and generally fun, a dining novelty. Purists can rest assured - Darvish serves all hilal meat. Of course, there's also persian tea ($1.50, hot or cold).
We ordered the Royal platter, which consists of every type of meat kabob on the menu. This costs $70 but it fed 3 grown men and me, and I'm sure you can tell by reading this blog that I can put down a fair amount of food for a girl.
The chicken is very good, but it's the least exciting meat on the menu. My friends John and Amr love lamb, and the meaty chops pleased them very much. Our platter also included beef tenderloin and ground beef kabobs. This might sound odd, but I consistently prefer the ground beef. It's flavor is simply outstanding. The tenderloin is also very good, more subtle. Everything is tender and juicy and tastes like charcoal - which is great. The meats are accompanied by grilled plum tomatoes (excellent, and a nice, fresh and acidic contrast to all that meat) a huge plate of rice.
I've also eaten at Mirage on Roswell Rd., and in my opinion the meat at Darvish is superior. The ground beef at Mirage is actually TOO rich for my taste, making it difficult for me to consume my entire entree. You won't have that problem at Darvish. Every single bite will be gone.
Darvish's hummus may be the best I've eaten in Atlanta. It's got just the right amount of olive oil and paprika, and is perfect with the fresh baked pita. The dolmeh ($8), stuffed grape leaves, is also very good, but at that price it's a little expensive. You'll be served 5 pieces.
The only item I've eaten at Darvish that I disliked was the baklava. It's not sweet AT ALL $5. If the baklava at Cafe Agora in Atlanta is far too surgary for you then you might like this, but if you agree with me that Al at Agora makes the best baklava in the city then you need to steer clear of this dessert at Darvish.
Darvish is NOT the place to dine if you're on a tight schedule. I've eaten here at least 4 times and the service has always been very slow. Once I think it was the waiter, who disappeared for more than half an hour while our stomachs grumbled. The other times I think it was just that this food isn't quickly prepared. The upside of this is that it's delicious and straight off the grill. You may wait for 10 minutes to get more pita, but it will be crisp and warm when it comes out. The best course of action is to just bring some friends and plan to stay for several hours enjoying the food and the ambiance.
Personally, I'm not into the hookahs, but Darvish supplies them if you're interested. I'm sure many of you like the idea of lounging against the fat pillows on the the big carpeted "beds" with hookah in hand. If so, this is the place to do it. You can see one of the smaller beds (seats about 4 or 5) above.
Darvish also features belly dancers on the weekends, when I hear the place is very crowded. Last night there were only 3 tables of customers. It's unlikely you'll ever wait for a table during the week.
Verdict: Outstanding kabobs, interesting atmosphere, slow service.