1st time for Boston hound in Houston last week in the Briar Forest area.
PHOENICIA MARKET(http://www.phoeniciafoods.com/) had been hearing about it from bro’ since he moved to area. Absolutely awed by its size & variety of goods, as well as the impressive take-out/deli. Live in the midst of little Armenian markets & bakeries outside Cambridge MA, so felt right at home.
PHOENICIA DELI(across Westheimer): Huge, delish beef shwarma wrap for lunch in this very busy, popular spot w/creamy garlic, tahini &/or hot pepper to compliment – I used all 3. Honor system for imported vs. domestic beer from cold cases in back.
CAFÉ CASPIAN (http://www.cafecaspian.com/): Hot, just out-of-the-oven, large dinner plate-sized taftoon bread arrived at our table to break off and scoop up the hummus, yogurt & cucumber, spinach, and eggplant dips & grape leaves, accompanied by fresh herbs, tomato, radishes, onion wedges & feta. Even the timid eater in our group of 5 loved this. Shakers of ?sumac on the table which I used on everything. For entrees, I had to have the Fesenjan (chix w/sweet & sour pomegranate & walnut sauce over basmati rice). This was a generous incredibly thick, rich, savory piquant sauce, redolent with pomegranate over tasty, fluffy hot rice. No way could I finish it, but really enjoyed it the next morning for breakfast w/a couple of poached eggs on top. Other entrees(all served w/basmati rice) included: Loobya(green beans & tomato sauce flavored with cinnamon, garlic, onions & saffron, mixed w/tender sautéed filet mignon; Khoresh-e Bademja (stew of eggplant, sautéed w/chix & onions in a saffron tomato sauce; & Barg (chix breast marinated, skewered & flame broiled w/grilled tomatoes. I loved everything. Service was welcoming & solicitous w/water glasses & drinks replenished & dishes cleared between well paced courses. After the Fesenjan, I would pick the Loobya next time – which will be the end of this month – Yay! Looked through the Houston postings & identified “Neverful” as one hound for my bro’s to watch for good tips. Wish I was going to be there for your PIG ROAST chowdown on 10/17! Most weekends, here in Beantown, a small, dedicated group of us get together for a meal &/or a local festival. Happy chowing.