We finally got to check out Chahar Shanbeh Souri to celebrate Persian New Year. I found out about it on chowhound from Rworange last year and made sure to put it on my calendar for this year. It was Tues. 3/18/08.
We took Bart to Downtown Berkeley and walked down about 3-4 blocks to Durant Ave. The place was crazy busy with DJ Aykut & DJ Dr. T spinning very loud music. There was a flyer saying 4 Shanbeh Soori After Party 9:30p-Close the DJs were going to be at Pasand Lounge, 2280 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley a 5 min. walk from the Persian Center.
People line up around the Persian Center to buy food. There were Kabob sandwiches: chicken or beef wrapped like a burrito w/ rice inside & a small half tomato & water or soda for $10. Chicken was dry and boring to eat. You could also get a noodle soup for $5-very minty w/ a sauce another table had & even some sumac you could add or some chopped onions. Soup was ok, hubby liked it more.
For dessert Golnazar Persian ice cream sandwiches were $3. It's Saffron ice cream w/ pistachio. Just ok w/ thin crispy wafer like cookie to sandwich the ice cream. Pre-packaged. They also had a 1-pint tub of Faloudeh for $3. It was frozen solid when A. tried to eat it, he had to wait about 15 min to finally try it, he finished it so it must have been ok.
The best part was the jumping over the small fires. The line was Crazy long, but it moved fast, near the fires the line finally breaks into 2 lines and you can jump over 3 small flames. Almost anyone can jump over the fire..we did and it was FUN.
Then we left, still Recommended at least once, but don't go expecting good food. I'll go to the Albany one next yr.
2029 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA