559 Washington St, Brighton; (617)783-4900 When this family-run Oak Square venue opened a few years ago, it was both unusual and inexpensive serving up Iranian cuisine, slightly different from other Middle Eastern food (Pars being a variation on Persia). Little on the menu went over $9, and lunch specials started from just $3.
With increased success, alas, comes decreased cheapness. Most entrees have gone up a dollar or two; but this is still wonderful food, with portions that make it a good value. Shish kabobs are the trademark items; if $8.95 seems like a lot for one skewer of marinated chicken, wait til you see it giant cubes of tender, juicy meat topped with a grilled tomato, on a mountain of light Basmati rice. Some combination plates are better values; Kabob-i-Pars offers one skewer of beef filet and one of ground beef for $9.95.
And the weekday lunch deals are still priced from $3-$6.
Of course, you can always get pita sandwich versions of same, in the $5-$6 range; not to mention delectable appetizers and soups. Warm pita bread, feta cheese, and greens come to the table as soon as you do. But it’s the house specialties in which Pars really distinguishes itself. Fragrant stews, which vary daily, are laced with flavors and spices not found in your average falafel joint Mine went nuts over fesenjan, a unique chicken stew made with nuts (fried walnuts, that is) and pomegranate sauce, sweet and tasty. At $9.50, it’s at the top of his price range, but there was enough to take some home.
Liquor is not served; coffee and tea are good and strong. The latter is served from a giant ornamental urn, which lends a touch of class to the handsome, serene atmosphere. It’s a much more elegant meal than you’d expect in this humble neighborhood, and at these prices. Open for lunch and dinner daily.