Monday, June 11, 2012

Caspian Bistro

To continue my recent run on Mediterranean places, today we go to the Caspian Bistro. The Caspian Bistro is an awesome place to get some Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food. I have a coworker who is a Diamond VIP in their frequent flyer program, so whenever a team lunch comes up, the Bistro is always the first place that gets mentioned (and usually where we decide to go).

Stolen picture alert: As I was at the Bistro with a group of coworkers, one of whom is very close to the owners of the Bistro, I didn't think that it was the appropriate time to bust out the camera phone and start playing paparazzi. Therefore, I have stolen most of the pictures from today's post from the Bistro's own website. I apologize for the cop-out, but wanted to maintain journalistic integrity and credit the source of the photos in today's post.

The Bistro is a great place to gorge yourself on large quantities of delicious kabobs and saffron rice. When most people think of kabobs, they think of satay style kabobs, but these are not the small individual style satay kabobs, these are the giant meal sized (use a sword as a skewer) style kabobs. Other options besides the kabobs are available (Gyros, etc), but when I go to a place I like to order the dish that they are known for. In other words, order the kabobs. They have many different kabob options: filet Mignon (thinly sliced), ground beef, ground chicken, marinated chicken, and Cornish game hen.

As you are waiting for your food, they put out a layered flat bread for you to snack on, it is quite good. I recommend saving some of it for when they bring your meal, put some of the zaziki sauce on it and it is incredible. The Bistro is the home of the best zaziki sauce I have ever had in my life! You can taste the cucumber in the sauce.

We got a group of 4 of us together and ordered the Shamshiri platter (I wish I had a picture of this thing, although I would have probably needed a wide angle lens to get all of it in the photo), which is served with 7 skewers of meat (one of each variety, two of each of the ground meats), roasted tomatoes and other veggies, and everyone gets their own individual plate of saffron rice that is the size of a human head. The saffron rice is not the same saffron rice that is in something like a paella, it is more along the lines of rice topped with saffron (but is still very very delicious). Of all the skewers, the marinated chicken is my favorite, followed by the Cornish game hen, filet Mignon, and then the ground meats. The marinated chicken had the best flavor and texture, in my opinion, with the Cornish hen in a close second. The Cornish hen does still have bones (cartilage) on one side, but that would not deter me from ordering it, just making note of it. The filet Mignon was very flavorful and was not overcooked, but I guess I just prefer my filet in steak form and not in slivers. The ground meats are not my favorite, but are the favorite of a co-worker of mine, so don't let my opinion stop you from ordering them. The ground meets taste to me like there is some sort of a gelatin added to help the ground meat stay together on the skewer, similar to the gelatin that you use to make beef jerky with a jerky shooter. Again, not bad, just not my personal flavour (yes I have adopted the Queen's spelling of the word "flavor" and will be sprinkling it in to my posts where I feel like it). Lunch portion of the ground beef pictured to the right.

For lunch, there were plenty of open tables. But I am told that for dinner, it is hard to get a seat. They do have a belly dancer that will come in for one show on the weekends, so do be aware of that if that kind of thing is too risque for you. Also, this is a Mediterranean restaurant, therefore you can expect to be served at a Mediterranean pace. My suggestion is to enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant and plan to go to the Bistro when you have the time to enjoy it.

Caspian Bistro on Urbanspoon

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