Just a little background on myself to preface this article; I’m a first generation American, my mom came to the US when she was 13 from Iran. I have grown up my entire life eating Persian food. Every Friday night was dedicated to family dinner where Persian food was all that was on the table. Obviously, I love all kinds of food as well; tacos, sushi, you name it – but Persian food has a certain comforting quality that makes me feel very at home. When I saw that Persian Bite had opened in Schenectady, of all places, I knew I had no choice but to try it.
When you walk in the restaurant feels very home-y. The hosts are incredibly welcoming and want to help everyone experience our culture in the best way possibly. On the tables, there are little stories from different cities all over Iran. They also share their story of why they chose to come to Schenectady and introduce a cuisine and culture that one would not expect to see here. This really spoke to the attitude our culture shares. We are welcoming and want to make our guests feel as comfortable as possible. The host offered to explain the menu to my friends, who had never eaten Persian food before. Clearly, he wants everyone to have the best experience possible.
The menu was good and not too extensive. On it was only Kebab (basically Persian BBQ, sorry grandma for that oversimplification) which was not a bad thing by any means. However, it would have been nice to see some more variety. There was no choresht (different kinds of stew,) no different kinds of rice. A lot of food I would expect to see at a Persian restaurant was missing. After looking through the menu I decided to order a Kebab Combination (A mix of Chicken, Lamb Steak and Ground Beef) and a Salad Shirazi (A cucumber and tomato salad.)
The food was delicious, it tasted just like the Kebab I had grown up with. The salad was crisp and refreshing. Though Salad Shirazi is not very hard to make, find a twist on the classic recipe here. I was still very happy to be eating it.
The Kebab was delicious as well. I’m used to Kebab combinations to be much larger, but the personal size allowed for everyone at the table to order what they wanted.
The combination contained 3 different kinds of protein, Joojeh Chicken, Koobideh beef, and Chenjeh steak. Joojeh chicken is marinated and grilled, Koobideh is made up of ground beef, kind of like a Persian hamburger, and Chenjeh is a skewered lamb steak. They’re served with basmati rice, which in itself may be an entire food group in Persian culture.
The food was absolutely delicious, my friends who had never tried Persian food before loved it too. I highly recommend Persian Bite to any adventurous foodie in Schenectady trying to expand their palette.