Viet’s Pho – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Viet’s Pho on Menaul

“”Vietnam. It grabs you and doesn’t let you go.
Once you love it, you love it forever.”

~ Anthony Bourdain 

Most of us have never been to Vietnam.  It’s possible, maybe likely, that most of us will never make it to Vietnam…at least not in a corporeal state.  That’s an important distinction because for years, we’ve already been visiting Vietnam…at least vicariously.  We’ve been magically transported to Vietnam every time Anthony Bourdain visited.  Bourdain had the rare ability to develop intimate connections with the cultures and people he encountered in his travels then translate those connections into expressive and relatable narratives.  He was a gifted raconteur whose rare honesty, lack of pretense, irreverent sense of humor and self-deprecating humility came across so endearingly empathetic.  His evocative descriptions of exotic foods and cultures expanded our imaginations and allowed us to marvel and wonder about the world we know so little about.  Because of him, many of us fell in love with Vietnam.  Not its food.  We already loved that.  Because of Bourdain, we fell in love with the Vietnamese culture and its people.

Anthony Bourdain was so much more than a celebrity chef.  He was a true citizen of and ambassador for the world.  Now he’s mourned by the millions he enthralled with his unique ability to titillate us with a genuine appreciation for extraordinary foods prepared by accomplished chefs and for demonstrating equal esteem for home cooks as they proudly prepared simple cultural staples.  Moreso, we were amazed by his flair for giving voice to the most downtrodden and trampled upon.  Most of us who attempt, however futilely, to express ourselves with a modicum of the eloquence which seemed to come natural to him, don’t delude ourselves into believing we’re in the same league.  We’re not even in the same universe.

Viet’s Pho Dining Room

It’s only fitting that my inaugural visit to Viet’s Pho was with Alonna Smith, a Philadelphia expat now living in Albuquerque.  Alonna is much closer to Bourdain’s formidable orbit than I am, having published two books: The Philadelphia Food Companion and Lancaster County: The Best Fun, Food, Lodging, Shopping and Sights.  Her current project, an online compendium on Indian food, is an ambitious undertaking I’m very much looking forward to reading.  For several weeks we had been planning to meet for lunch only to be beset by schedule conflicts and other commitments.  Alonna is a kindred spirit, a bold culinary adventurer and proud dog parent.  Like me, she is still reeling by the untimely passing of Anthony Bourdain, an inspiration to both of us.

Alonna related that the Duke City has many more Vietnamese restaurants than Philadelphia, marveling that Albuquerque has somewhere around forty Vietnamese eateries to the City of Brotherly Love’s eight or so.  We were both excited to visit  Viet’s Pho, the metropolitan area’s newest entry into a dynamic Vietnamese culinary community. I knew we’d hit it off immediately after she suggested we order different entrees and share everything, generosity characteristic of most gastronomes.  She never mentioned the seeming grammatical faux pas of the restaurant’s name, an unsnobbish act I found especially Bourdainesque.

Spring Rolls with Grilled Pork

Launched in April, 2018, Viet’s Pho has already garnered a 4.5 star rating on 54 Yelp reviews (as of this writing). Howie “The Duke of Duke City” Kaibel, the charismatic Albuquerque Community Manager for Yelp, described it as “easily one of the most affordable, flavorful Vietnamese restaurants in Albuquerque, bordering on 5-star.”  He lavished his highest praise on the “best in the city” grilled pork.  The Alibi‘s rapaciously talented food editor Robin Babb (like Howie and me, a  Souperbowl 2018 judge) told readers that Viet’s Pho “serves hospitality and huge portions.”  Great food, warm hospitality, huge portions…Viet’s Pho can’t miss!

Located in the familiar space that served as the home to Ko Palace for nearly three decades, Viet’s Pho is the inaugural family-owned and operated venture for Wendy and Bao, both of whom previously worked  as servers at nearby Viet Taste.  Highly indicative of the type of service they provided is the volume of regulars who have followed them to their new restaurant.  They brought that customer orientation with them to Viet’s Pho.  During our hour-long visit, our servers first demonstrated Job-like patience as Alonna and I lingered in perusing the menu in between getting to know one another.  They then demonstrated  the endearing qualities to which all servers should aspire–attentiveness and friendliness, an encyclopedic knowledge of the menu and best of all, the wisdom not to hover when guests are deep in conversation.

Pork and Shrimp Rice Flour Crepe

A few vestiges–specifically glass murals depicting fierce dragons and docile pandas–of Ko Palace remain.  More prevalent as a decorative touch is wallpaper showcasing clusters of bamboo which Vietnamese esteem as both a symbol of vitality and a utilitarian material.  Thankfully, there were no remnants of the space’s previous tenant on the menu, aptly described by Howie as “going on for days.”  Both  Alonna and I came in with a tabula rasa attitude, that is we were both blank slates open to being inscribed upon by something alluring that caught our eyes.  Many items caught our eyes.  The menu is a virtual compendium of all that is great and wonderful about Vietnamese cuisine.

First up were spring rolls (Goi cuon) which are available with shrimp, chicken or pork.  The Duke City default seems to be shrimp so it was a refreshing change to order pork spring rolls (gasp, even the idea sounds almost heretical).  As Howie sagely declared, the grilled pork may just be the very best in the city.  The pork is marinated in a mix that includes fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and sundry ingredients that meld preternaturally well to create an olfactory treasure that dances on your taste buds.  The  aroma and flavor of thinly sliced pork in thin, nearly transparent rice paper wrappers is reminiscent of grilling outdoors in a small hibachi with fat dripping from the pork and sizzling into a smoky haze which permeates the pork.  Sure there are other ingredients (vermicelli noodles, Thai basil, lettuce) in the thick, cigar-shaped rolls, but that pork stands out and imprints itself on your taste buds and memories.  So does the dipping sauce, a terrific blend of hoisin sauce, peanut butter, chili paste and more.

Spicy Lemongrass Noodle Bowl

Alonna’s selection was a pork and shrimp rice flour crepe (sliced pork, whole shrimp, bean sprouts, and white onions), a crescent-shaped beauty resembling a folded pancake.  Interestingly, Banh Xeo, the Vietnamese name for this dish, actually translates to “sizzling cake” and in many circles, is referred to as a Vietnamese pancake, not a crepe.  Alonna quickly discerned a sweetness courtesy of coconut milk while I marveled at the slightly pungent, early flavor and fluorescent yellow of the turmeric used in the preparation of the crepe.  The crepe is served with a fish sauce with real personality and bite. It proved an outstanding choice, comparable in deliciousness to my “best of the city” choice at Basil Leaf.

Even had my beloved  May Hong  not closed in 2016, Viet Pho’s spicy lemongrass (your choice of chicken, pork, beef or shrimp stir-fried with onions, celery and bell pepper and available on  bed of rice or noodles) might be the best in the city. While lemongrass itself is a very mild herb with very little “spiciness,” this dish is replete with a pleasant piquancy, some of which comes from the accompanying fish sauce.  We’ve already established that the grilled pork is in rarefied air.  So, too, is the stir-fry, done masterfully by someone who obviously knows how to control the intense heat inherent in flash fry cuisine.  This is a magnificent dish.

Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give Viet’s Pho is to proclaim that I believe Anthony Bourdain would have loved it.  I began this review with a tribute to Vietnam’s biggest advocate and champion.  In the days since his untimely passing, it seems everyone in the culinary community has penned a similar paean to him.  The very best I’ve read comes from my friend Hannah Walraven who’s now living in Wisconsin.  It’s too good not to share:

“I read his books, I watched his shows. I admired him and also had plenty of complaints about him. I appreciated some of the ways he presented the world and I disdained other ways. B and I had plenty of criticisms that I would never have dared to say to his face, no matter how brave I think I am. He didn’t know me and never would have. But here’s what hurts the most: that guy was in pain and he just tried to keep going. He was shooting his show. He left behind an 11-year old kid. Someone who obviously and clearly loved him found his body. He was the first to describe himself as a miserable bastard and yet he tried (sometimes against his own will it seems) to make the world better. He tried to make americans better in some small way. That’s so much more than so many people do. I’m so sad. I’m so sorry he was in pain. I’m so sorry for his loved ones. And I’m sorry for us, that another one of the helpers is gone. This crushing world is so crushing, I’m starting to see how only kindness and empathy matter, that being loving and honest and open are subversive acts. I love you guys, please please be well and let me know if you need anything I can give you.”

Viet’s Pho
4208 Menaul, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 717-2359
Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 12 June 2018
# OF VISITS: 1
RATING: N/R
COST: $$
BEST BET: Pork Spring Rolls, Spicy Lemongrass Noodle Bowl, Chicken and Shrimp Rice Flour Crepe

Viet's Pho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Frank’s Famous Chicken & Waffles – Albuquerque, New Mexico

My Friend Bruce “Sr. Plata” Silver Stands in Front of Frank’s Famous Chicken & Waffles

If one measure of success is having the wherewithal to pursue those things you love most, Frank Willis has led a very successful life. A towering skyscraper of a man, Frank has had four great loves in his life: family, basketball, music and chicken and waffles. They’ve been his passions and his raisons d’être. Maybe that’s why he’s done them all well.

You might remember Frank Willis as a heavily coveted recruit who played basketball for the University of New Mexico Lobos, then the only game in town. At 6’8” and 260 pounds, he was a physical presence down on the post, helping the Lobos win the Western Athletic Conference championship in 1994. Knee injuries kept him from achieving the promise he showed as a high school senior in Los Angeles. After his playing days ended, Frank remained in Albuquerque where he pined for the soul food—especially chicken and waffles–so readily available in the City of Angels. When he couldn’t find the foods he coveted, he began preparing them himself.

Tenderoni Platter

While he cites his mother, grandmother and aunt as formative influences on his cooking, Frank also waxes nostalgic about his frequent visits to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, a beloved Los Angeles soul food institution. As he had done in honing his basketball skills, he worked relentlessly on his own recipes until he had perfected them to his exacting standards. In January, 2013, he took his concept to the streets—literally, launching a food delivery business featuring soul food. It was such a hit that within nine months, he opened a brick-and-mortar soul food restaurant, Frank’s Famous Chicken & Waffles.

Now, Frank’s may not have been famous when it first opened, but it quickly garnered a reputation as a purveyor of peerless soul food. In 2015, Albuquerque The Magazine awarded the quickly burgeoning business a Hot Plate Award for the chicken and waffles the Duke City can’t live without. In the 2017 “best of the city” poll, the magazine’s readers declared Frank’s as the best soul food eatery in the metropolitan area. Accolades, awards and glowing media tributes share space on the walls at Frank’s with another of his four loves, music.

12 Wings and 2 Waffles Platter

While you’re enjoying soul food at Frank’s, it’s only fitting that you’re surrounded by the dulcet tones and sensual stylings of sweet, soothing soul music from such stalwarts as Wilson Pickett, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross. A vintage sound system console stereo complete with eight-track player, turntable and cassette player sits on the distressed wood floor next to a small library of record album sleeves. Still more album sleeves and cassettes festoon the walls. Above the fireplace mantle hangs a painting of Prince right next to an electric guitar, both spotlighted by overhead lights. The only vestige of Frank’s playing days as a Lobo is his old jersey framed on the wall and sporting the number 4 he wore.

Frank’s greatest love, of course, is his family.  His restaurant is the quintessential family owned and operated restaurant.  Family members–sister, daughter, mother–all have a hand in day-to-day operation.  Frank himself is the most visible face of the restaurant.  He’s understandably proud of his business.  When my friend Sr. Plata and I visited for the first time in June, 2018, he asked how we’d heard about Frank’s.  I replied “everyone’s heard about Frank’s.  It just took us too long to get here.”  We joked about Sr. Plata having been from Los Angeles but never having been to Roscoe’s.

Just How Big a Platter with 12 Wings and 2 Waffles: Sr Plata Demonstrates

Frank’s menu is so much more than chicken and waffles though if that sweet and savory combination is what you’re jonesing for, a number of plates are available to sate your appetite. And, if you’re like this indolent eater and prefer not to have to work around chicken bones, there are boneless options. The most prolific offering on the menu is the Temptations Platter, a caloric overachiever showcasing wings smothered with Muddy Waters gravy served with yams, mac n’ cheese, greens and corn bread. You can also put some South in your mouth with grits prepared several ways, including the “Kiss My Grits Bowl” (a heaping bowl topped with cheese, eggs and your choice of bacon, sausage or hot links). Two po’ boy sandwiches—your choice of catfish or shrimp—are available for the sandwich lovers among us. You can also enjoy a catfish platter and a plethora of sides such as smoked turkey greens, candied yams and jazzy red beans and rice.

During our inaugural visit, only my friend Sr. Plata’s eyes were larger than his order of twelve wings and two waffles.  He was awestruck at just how much meat a dozen wings could have, obviously figuring on some scrawny pieces.  Not only did he get a serious work-out hefting that immense platter of poultry, he ate enough to keep him sated until at least dinnertime.  It’s a good thing the two waffles were not of the Belgian variety which tend to be thicker or even he might not have been able to finish the plate.  The waffles were served with a rich cinnamon butter and sweet syrup.  They were a perfect complement to the battered fried chicken which was fried to a golden hue.  Steam wafted upward when he bit into his first piece launching an aroma into the air that smelled of a summer picnic.

As previously recounted, this indolent blogger doesn’t much like having to work through the carapace of a lobster, crab claws and even shrimp shells.  Ditto for boned chicken.  That’s why the tenderoni platter (three battered chicken tenders served with fries, coleslaw and a roll) appealed so much to me.  Well, that and the fact that the chicken tenders were all white meat.  This is chicken worthy of Roscoe’s, better than any the Colonel could dream of preparing.  The thick fries are battered in the same delicious concoction used on the fried chicken.  Other restaurants serve battered or seasoned fries, but these are much better.  The coleslaw is excellent, a creamy, tangy and fresh variety.

Frank’s Famous Chicken & Waffles is a labor of love for a very successful man who pursues the things he loves and does them all well.  You won’t find better chicken anywhere in Albuquerque.

Frank’s Famous Chicken & Waffles
513 San Mateo Blvd, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 712-5109
Web Site | Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 13 June 2018
# OF VISITS: 1
RATING: N/R
COST: $$
BEST BET: 12 Wings and 2 Waffles, Tenderoni Platter

Franks Famous Chicken and Waffles Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pars Cuisine – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Pars Persian & Mediterranean Cuisine

“Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse — and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness —
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.”

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

The imagery inspired by this enduring poem–most notably “a jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou“–can be read on so many levels–some literal and some allegorical.  In the literal sense, these few lines may evoke images of a romantic dalliance in an idyllic wilderness, its lines undoubtedly kindling intense ardor.  In the allegorical sense, some scholars believe one of the core themes of The Rubaiyat is a reiteration of a passage from The Gospel of Luke: “eat, drink and be merry.”  Others compare its outlook to Ecclesiastes: that life is vanity, our knowledge is limited, our time is brief, and the existence of another world uncertain.

Focusing solely on the literal translation, perhaps the modern day urban equivalent of a romantic outdoors tryst is a meal at Pars Cuisine which specializes in the Persian food Khayyam enjoyed during his time.  At Pars (synonymous with Persian), that cuisine is served in a milieu which may inspire a little romance in its own right.  The restaurant’s epicenter is one of the most opulent and classy settings in town, where families and couples sit together on a cushioned floor below a billowing silk tent and listen to the burbling fountain while they partake of exquisite cuisine.  Chair-backs on each cushion provide comfort and support.  This beautiful backdrop is visible from other more conventional seating areas.

One of Several Dining Rooms at Pars

When Pars opened its doors in 1984, it wasn’t exactly a restaurant which inspired romantic date night moments.  Ensconced in a tiny Montgomery Plaza storefront with a seating capacity of only 13 tables, few visitors lingered at the diminutive diner to look lovingly into their date’s eyes after a movie at the now defunct Montgomery Plaza Theater.  Most of their affection was directed toward the inspired Persian, Greek and Turkish cuisine.  When they first launched Pars Cuisine a quarter of a century ago, owners Mohammad and Shahnaz Tafti operated under a unique business model.  Mohammad worked as a teacher while Shahnaz worked for the city.  He ran the restaurant at night while she ran it in the daytime.  Their cuisine was too good and their drive to succeed too focused to be contained in a small setting.

In 2001, the Taftis moved to their current location adjacent to the Interstate (I-25). Now situated at 4320 The 25 Way, N.E., a sprawling office and retail complex exemplifying urban infill at its best, Pars Cuisine was transformed from a great place to grab a gyros to an upscale, fine-dining restaurant everyone in the city wanted to experience. When Pars launched at its new location, it was the toughest ticket in town (with all due respect to Lobo basketball which played to standing room only crowds back then).

The Dude’s Nemesis

After five years, Pars Cuisine expanded again.  A two-year, $150,000 expansion nearly doubled seating capacity to 120 guests and more importantly, made each meal experience even more memorable.  The luxurious offerings now include a banquet room available with a capacity of up to 50 for private or corporate parties. The private banquet room includes full bar, music, decor and some of the best service in town. An expansive patio comfortably accommodates those of us who like dining with our four-legged children.  Be forewarned, however, that roadrunners can easily scale the ten-foot wall to drink from the patio fountain and (like our Dude) your furry family members might not like that.  

The expansion also meant the inclusion on the menu of special green, white and black teas prepared at a Samovar bar (Samovar refers to the artful heating unit used to heat the tea).  The Samovar bar menu lists large premium tea leaves, espresso, specialty drinks, international and domestic beer and wine. You can partake of those teas out in the patio or in one of two private tea rooms.  If you’re looking for something even more exotic, you can move out to the hookah bar on the outdoor patio where you can choose from an assortment of shishas, tobaccos combined with fruit and molasses or honey.  Flavors include mint, jasmine, mango and the restaurant’s best-seller, a mixture of red and green apples.

Mazeh Combination

 Exotic, expressive, elegant entertainment is available on Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00PM through closing when belly dancers perform.  While some prudish Americans hold belly dancers in the same esteem as ecdysiasts writhing around a pole, others find it strangely mesmerizing–although most men will admit the challenge of keeping their eyes focused solely on the dancer’s undulating movements which are both sensual and artistic.

 The lunch menu is offered Monday through Saturday from 11AM to 3PM, but dinner entrees can also be served at any time upon request.  Both the lunch and dinner menu are ambitious, a wondrous compendium of Middle Eastern, Greek and Mediterranean delicacies prepared as wonderfully as you’ll find them anywhere in the city.  Whether you’re in the mood for familiar favorites or want to explore dishes you may not previously have heard of, much less sampled, you’ll find something to make you very happy.

Mazeh Combination Stew

9 June 2018: Many couples start with the Mazeh Plate, a bountiful combination plate for several hungry diners.  It’s a treasure trove of nine sumptuous appetizers: dolmas, feta cheese, Kalmata olives, falafel, shirazi salad, tzatziki, Kashk o’ Bademjoon, hummus and pita bread.  The dolmas are the sole appetizer not made on the premises, a fairly common practice in Mediterranean restaurants who don’t always have the time and inclination to perform the arduous, labor-intensive task.  The falafel is among the very best in the city, four moist oblong chickpea fritters seasoned very well.

The hummus is sprinkled liberally with sumac, the addictive spice with a tart flavor reminiscent of vinegar or lemon though not as overpowering.  It’s one of four diverse “dips” on the large plate.  The most exotic is the Kashk o’ Bademjoon, an eggplant dip made with caramelized onion and garlic.  When you have this dip, all you need is pita and the Mazeh plate is practically encircled by it.  While the Kashk o’ Bademjoon is exotic, the Shirazi salad is delicious simplicity alike, a healthy salad made with cucumber, tomatoes, onions mint and lemon juice.  Fresh and lively, the tzatziki is among the very best we’ve had.

Double Meat Gyros with Greek Salad

Combinations seem to work very well at Pars where an entree platter for one or two people is one of the restaurant’s most popular offerings.  The Soltani is a marriage of barg (skewered filet mignon or chicken breast) and kabob koobideh (skewered seasoned organic beef) broiled under an open fire.  Served with grilled tomato and the best saffron-tinged basmati rice in the city, it is plated artistically and covers a large platter. The filet mignon is perfectly seasoned, moist and tender.  Make that fork-tender.  So is the kabob which is also juicy and spiced very well with Mediterranean spices that don’t impart the piquancy New Mexicans tend to associate with spiciness.  If it’s not already on your table, ask for the sumac shaker.  Lavish it on the filet Mignon and the kabob and thank me later.

In 2009,  a veteran waiter with an encyclopedic knowledge of the menu pointed me toward the Fesenjoon, a stew made with sauteed walnuts in pomegranate sauce served with chicken and basmati rice.  Though the combination of pomegranates and walnuts is unusual in American dishes, it is a popular Persian combination.  The Fesenjoon, which is simultaneously delicate and rich, is often used as a meat condiment or dip.  As a stew entree, it is also unbeatable.  The chicken is three cut-up boneless breasts (or at least portions thereof) topped with a thick “gravy” of pomegranates and walnuts.  That gravy has a slightly tangy, but absolutely rich and delicious flavor.  It’s unlike any other stew in the Duke City with the characteristic heart and soul-warming qualities that make stew an endearing comfort food favorite.  It’s so good, you might have to force yourself to order something else in latter visits.

Tabouli

 9 June 2018: Alas, it took nine years for us to return to Pars where it was my goal to confirm that the fesenjoon was as good as my initial impressions believed it was.  Rather than focus solely on my desired dish, the Persian soups and stews section of the menu practically leapt at me with an offering called the Mazeh Stew Combination, essentially a three stew sampler featuring not only a vegetarian version of the Fesenjoon which had enthralled me, but Ghormeh Sabzi and Ghimeh served with saffron-enriched rice.  First things first–the Fesenjoon is unbelievably good, a very unique and delicious stew.  It’s not for everybody, but adventurous diners will at least enjoy trying it. 

Ghormeh Sabzi, which translates to “stewed greens,” is Iran’s most popular stew, usually made with parsley, spinach, leeks, coriander, kidney beans, dried lemons and either turmeric-seasoned lamb or beef.  It’s somewhat reminiscent flavor-wise of Indian saag paneer minus the farmer’s cheese, of course.  It’s a very good stew.  Ghimeh, a stew made from sautéed beef and split peas in a tomato broth topped with shoestring fries is where food meets fun meets flavor.  The shoestring fries are a delightful touch to one of the best, most interesting split pea soups you’ll have in this town.

Sohan (Pistachio Brittle)

 9 June 2018: For my Kim, sometimes only a gyro (always double meat) will do, never mind all the exotic offerings on the menu.  Available with your choice of chicken or the beef and lamb amalgam typically found on gyros, the double-meat gyros are served with a large Greek salad, several wedges of pita (if you don’t want your gyros “sandwich-style”), and ramekins of tzatziki and Greek dressing.  The Greek salad (or at least the large lettuce leafs) dominates the plate though there’s never enough feta cheese or Kalamata olives to suit us.  Don’t spare the Greek dressing; it’s the best we’ve had with sweet, tangy and savory notes melding together beautifully.  Both the chicken and the beef-lamb are fresh and delicious with a lightly seasoned profile.

9 June 2018:  Because a Greek salad George Costanza would describe as “a really big salad” isn’t enough for my Kim, she had to order Pars’ tabouli chopped parsley, tomatoes, onions, cracked wheat (bulgar), lemon and olive oil, served with pita bread), one of the most popular salads across the Mediterranean.  Actor Richard Dreyfuss was once quoted saying “tabouli is the best salad, but still you don’t win friends with salad.”  He never had the tabouli at Pars.  It’s the type of salad sure to appease old friends and win new ones.

Persian Dessert

Desserts also have a personality all their own.  With few exceptions, they’re made in-house.  They’re also not made in the cloying, sugar-overdosed manner of many American desserts.  Instead, desserts are sweetened by rosewater.  Sometimes known as rose syrup, rosewater is a by-product of the production of rose oil which is used in perfume.  Rosewater has a very distinctive flavor and is heavily used in Persian cuisine, especially in desserts.  The Pars menu includes traditional Persian ice cream which is housemade vanilla ice cream with pistachio, saffron and rosewater.  The savvy waitstaff will often offer a sample to children wanting to try it.

9 June 2018: Also among the dessert offerings are baklava–both the traditional Greek baklava and Persian baklava which is made with rosewater, but not with phyllo dough.  The Persian baklava is topped with ground pistachios and isn’t nearly as sweet as its honey-flavored Greek counterpart.  Order it as part of the Persian Dessert plate and in addition to the Persian baklava, you’ll enjoy sohan asali (honey, saffron and almond “caramels”), bamieh (Persian “doughnuts” flavored with rose water and saffron) and a terrific brittle.  It’s a great way to introduce your taste buds to some of the most unique and tasty desserts in town.

Omar Khayyam may not have written any his lyrical magic specifically for Pars Cuisine, but the spirit of his words live on with every dining excursion to one of Albuquerque’s very best Mediterranean restaurants–make that one of the best restaurants of any genre.

Pars Cuisine
4320 The Way, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 345-5156
Web Site | Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 9 June 2018
# OF VISITS: 5
RATING: 21
COST: $$$ – $$$$
BEST BET: Mini Mazeh Combination, Falafel, Fesenjoon, Soltani, Persian Paklava, Key Lime Pie, Persian Dessert Plate, Sohan (Pistachio Brittle), Tabouli, Double Meat Gyros, Greek Salad, Mazeh Combination Stew

Pars Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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