Dining at Jasmine Mediterranean and Persian Cuisine
Jasmine Mediterranean and Persian Cuisine is a family owned restaurant that showcases a wide variety of middle eastern foods.
When I first entered the restaurant, I noticed elaborate decorations that contributed to the Mediterranean atmosphere. The vibrant colors of yellow and orange that were used to paint the walls were reminiscent of the deserts located throughout the Middle East. A plethora of colorful plates were used as decorations and add a sense of authenticity to the restaurant, embodying many aspects of middle eastern culture.
Although the paint job was generally well done, the ceiling in the dining room was left bare with its flaky wooden frame uncovered. The ceiling’s bareness is a stark contrast to the colorful aesthetics used to decorate the walls of the restaurant and is quite offsetting, giving a painfully unprofessional contrast to the carefully designed restaurant.
The restaurant was mostly empty when I arrived but quickly grew more crowded as the evening went on. Once my mom and I entered the restaurant, we were immediately greeted by a waitress who quickly seated us.
Once seated, we were given lentil soup and pita bread as an appetizer. The lentil soup was heavy on vegetables but had a very light, warming flavor that paired well with the crunchy pita bread.
After finishing our appetizer, the waitress returned and pointed us in the direction of the $6, all-you-can-eat salad bar. The salad bar contained soup as well as a large variety of fruits, vegetables and sauces. I decided to try the mushroom salad, hummus and a mix of tomatoes and onions from the salad bar. The spices used to flavor the hummus was sharp and sour but the mushroom salad did a good job of mellowing out the sharp taste. The tomato and onion combination added a kick to the salad, enhancing the flavor and leaving a strong aftertaste.
When we returned to our seats, the waitress took our order. She was extremely friendly and familiar with the menu. The waitress had specific recommendations including the beef barg and chicken wrap. She was also meticulous in her description of menu items. After contemplating her recommendations, we decided to order a chicken wrap along with a beef barg.
Considering how quickly our order was taken, we assumed the wait wouldn’t be too long. However, it took over 20 minutes for our order to arrive. The biggest cause for this wait seemed to be the noticeably low workforce operating the restaurant.
The chicken wrap finally arrived and was composed of a pickles, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, chicken and a sour sauce all wrapped in a tortilla. I felt that the wrap was extremely heavy on vegetables and the vegetables overpowered the chicken. The pickles had a very sharp taste and were very acidic, which also partly took away from the flavor of the chicken. However, the chicken was able to bring these ingredients together by using its mellow flavor to counteract the sharp flavors of the vegetables.
The chicken wrap was accompanied by a side of fries. The fries were very crisp and crunchy and were cooked to perfection with a rich golden brown color. The spices used to flavor the fries made them slightly sweet and salty.
The waitress gave us salsa, garlic sauce and tahini sauce alongside the fries. The salsa was extremely spicy so due to my lack of spice tolerance, I decided not to try it. The garlic sauce’s strong sour taste in particular paired well with the spices used on the fries.
Our next dish was the beef barg which is a rice dish composed of heart of filet mignon, a grilled tomato, grilled onions and peppers. The rice was seasoned to be slightly saltier than necessary. The beef had a gamy and smoky flavor, highlighting the open fire technique used to cook it. However, it was quite tough to bite and was slightly burned as well.
The portion sizes were quite large, but the price was still unexpectedly high. The chicken wrap cost $7 and the beef barg cost $15. With the added cost of the salad bar and two drinks, the total cost for two people was $31.
Overall, eating at Jasmine Mediterranean and Persian Cuisine was an experience that could barely be considered “good.” The food wasn’t the greatest and the service definitely could have been faster. On the contrary, the decorations and aesthetics were very detailed and did a wonderful job of depicting the middle eastern culture throughout the restaurant.
By Isaac Le, Staff writer
Photo by Isaac Le