Shamshiry, web site, 8607 Westwood Center Drive, Vienna, VA, 703-448-8883. Off of Route 7, near the Dulles access road. Not visible from any road. Turn left at the right place, and head towards the back. Near Oriental Regency, down a bit from United Airlines. (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [zabihah | Washingtonian | City Paper | food-plan | openlist | Citysearch | Gayot]
An excellent Persian place. Kabobs only, which I usually find dry and unexciting, but this place is a winner. Best rice in the area, very fragrant. The Barberry Rice and Cherry Rice, with chicken or beef respectively, are highly worthwhile. The Barberry Rice is wonderfully tangy and sour and the berries are luscious. What kind of rice you order is the real decision here, not what kind of meat. Ask for the beef medium rare, or even rare, if you order meat. The salmon is my favorite, with Zereshk Polo, make sure you rub Maast Moosir (a kind of thick yogurt sauce) into the whole thing, liberally. Excellent people-watching also, if you are interested in the Persian upper-middle class.
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Amoo’s House of Kabob
Amoo’s House of Kabob, 6271-A Old Dominion Drive, near Kirby, McLean, VA, 703-242-1709 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Yelp] The menu is very limited, only kabobs, the key is to get the Zereshk Polo, the barberry rice….
Tyler, I also enjoy the rice dishes at Shamshiry. I particularly like the Baghaala (Baghaali?) Polo with the dill weed and the chicken.
But I sure wish they also had an Adas Polo on their menu…Adas Polo has lentils and other veggies in the rice. The long-since closed Persian restaurant Pars, on Lee Highway across from H Mart (now called Cuzco, a Peruvian restaurant…the building’s 3rd or 4th incarnation after Pars closed) used to make an absolutely delicious Adas Polo. At the time of this writing, I don’t believe there’s a Persian restaurant in town that serves Adas Polo to the public. Which is entirely too bad. I sure wish there was some way to get word to Shamshiry’s management that it’d be a great addition to their menu.
Forgot to add last week, that Pars restaurant also used to serve Kuku Sabzi with their Baghaali Polo.
Kuku Sabzi are basicall little “omelet cubes” of egg, dill weed, spinach, and/or other green leafy veggie. Pars’ Kuku Sabzi were GOOD. Unfortunately Shamshiry doesn’t include these with their Baghaali Polo. Sure wish they did.
I’ve probably eaten at Shamshiry more than 100 times over the last ten years. I’ve had every dish on the menu, and I’ve eaten them on good days, bad days, and days when I could barely taste the food because I was so absorbed in conversations, thoughts, and distractions. I’ve never had a bad meal at Shamshiry. I often go with a friend who likes to order two or three times as much as we can possibly eat, and we always have great good and great service. One caution: this food is best when it’s fresh from the grill. Letting it wait for twenty minutes while you talk about friends and family will just let the flavor leech out into the ether. Letting it wait three hours as a take-away box in the back seat of the car will release unspeakably bad smells which will linger in leather of your dash and seats. So … eat this excellent food fresh from the grill, and rather than asking for a take-away box, just go back tomorrow. You (and your car) will be happy.
There is an important thing you need to know about Shamshiry: Their best items are not on the menu. They make a good lamb kabob, some decent gormeh sabzi (beef stew with green vegetables and kidney beans); and another stew with yellow split peas, eggplant and beef. Also, always ask for the tah digue, crispy rice.