Recently, I was asked to photograph the many delicious dishes offered at Sufi's, the premiere Persian restaurant in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. I've gotten to know the owner, Mohsen, over the years, as well as his wonderful family, so it was a great pleasure to be able to document and tell the community about his restaurant. Though there may be Persian restaurants in neighboring suburbs, Sufi's is the only one in Atlanta proper, conveniently located on Peachtree Street NE. Below is a gallery of just a few of the dishes I sampled and photographed during my visit.
Sufi's will be participating in Taste of Atlanta for the second time this year! Taste of Atlanta will be held this weekend, October 24-26th, and the restaurant will have a booth on the 25th & 26th, where visitors can stop by and have a preview of the aromatic, flavorful Persian dishes offered in the restaurant.
I sat down with Mohsen to ask him a few questions about Sufi's and his experience navigating the competitive Atlanta restaurant scene.
Nicole: Mohsen, tell me about your background. When did you
come to the United States?
Mohsen: I came here [from Shiraz, Iran] in July of 1977. We were supposed to finish
school and then go back home, but then of course, the war
happened and the revolution; that was in 1979. So we
couldn't even go back anymore because of the situation. After
seventeen years, I went back there for the first time. In the
end, we just stayed here and this became home.
Nicole: Wow. Now that you're here and have a new life, you've
started a restaurant with your family. What do you love
most about having this business with your family?
Mohsen: I think, overall, it's much better to run the business as a
family because we take extra care of it, we can trust each
other and be together.
Nicole: What would you say sets Sufi's apart from other Persian
restaurants in the area? What makes Sufi's special?
Mohsen: Atlanta has a lot of restaurants and people have so many
choices, but our food is really new to people, so when people
try it and they like it, they become our customers. We
concentrate on food. Of course, atmosphere and service too,
but my concentration is on the food. I worked with eight chefs
to get my recipes; we've put a lot of time into perfecting the
quality of our product. We always have the freshest, best
products and we're always consistent. I would say we're the
best when it comes to the food
Nicole: I have to agree. What would you say is the most traditional
Mohsen: Traditional Persian food is the gormeh sabzi, gemeh
bademjoon, fesenjoon. Those are our traditional Persian dishes.
Nicole: So, the stews.
Mohsen: Yes, kabobs really come after that. Stews, back home, when
your mom would cook, she would make a lot of the different
stews. Kabobs, you wouldn't cook at home, those, you go to
restaurants and weddings, they bring the kabobs.
Nicole: Ah, so the stews are the home-cooked feel.
Mohsen: Not everyone knows how to make the kabob, the kabob is
very special. There are many different marinations and the
grilling... the grilling is an art.
I can't give a higher recommendation for Sufi's. Everything I've tasted and experienced, from the mind-blowing hummus (you'll never be able to eat store bought again), to the refreshing cucumber cooler martini that paired perfectly with my food, to the succulent salmon, served with a flavorful baghala polo (dill and fava bean rice) and finally, the baklava and Persian ice cream (you absolutely must try both), I was in food heaven. Psst-- everything I just mentioned, except for the cucumber cooler, is photographed in the slideshow above.
Swing by the restaurant and relax on their beautiful Mediterranean inspired patio sometime soon! They're located at 1814 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta. Make sure to stop by their Taste of Atlanta booth this weekend as well! Hope to see you there!
Right: The wood stone oven used to bake all of the pita bread fresh to order... I've gotta say, it's irresistible. They serve it with a sabzi plate, which includes fresh mint leaves, tarragon and basil, along with feta cheese, kalamata olives and all kinds of other goodies!
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