Garson, Persian on Hillcroft

Dogh, yogurt-flavored soda, how could I resist? Actually, it was delicious, slightly sour and salty, cut by the bubbles. That along with mint eggplant, mirza ghasemi, a tomato, eggplant, scrambled egg dish, grilled vegetables, and a naan-like bread but thinner, and unbuttered, stuffed us and it was only the appetizers. Oh, and there was a plate of feta-like cheese, radishes, basil and parsley to start the meal.

It’s hard to drive past all the delicious south Indian restaurants to get to Garson, on the west side of Hillcroft around Richmond, but we were curious to try Persian food again. The last time we were here was to celebrate Michelle’s graduation from Rice, along with her family. I think the food then was even more delicious than it was tonight. Part of the problem is knowing what to order. If we were a typical Persian family, would we get the zereshk, bilberries with onions and saffron, on the rice? Would we skip the main courses and just get appetizers, split everything, or what? I can’t believe we never went with our own postdoc, Natasha, who would have explained all the foods so well.

We got several things labeled as stew, Gheimeh, Gheimeh bademjan, and Fessenjan and they were mostly dark, but did not taste anything alike. The last one was chicken in pomegranate sauce with finely crushed walnuts, good, but a tad on the sweet side. Each was served with big plates of rice, so we could easily share, and could have done with only 3 mains for the 5 of us.

I liked the appetizers a lot, the mains less so, but maybe this is because they were not too nostalgic for me since I’m not too familiar with this cuisine. What I liked was being with the family, Miller, Danny and his friend, David, impressed with the white tablecloths, and liking the food. Dave and I remembered where we sat that festive May a few years ago when Michelle graduated. I had her aunt to one side, and her mother nearby. It is truly wonderful to get to know my student’s families, and keep up with them as they discover life after college, even, as in this case, if it is grad school.

Michelle and I did a kind of funny study together on yellow-crowned night herons, but that will have to wait for another time. I hope I have students like Michelle at Washington University, and that some of them let me help them celebrate.

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We wolfed this down before I could photograph this early plate. There were also chunks of cheese.

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The bread was good.

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This appetizer had tomatoes and other stuff on top of scrambled eggs.

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The grilled vegetable appetizer.

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Dogh, the delicious yogurt soda drink, perhaps my favorite thing of the meal.

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Danny’s beef was very tender.

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Honest, this was good!

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About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
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