Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mediterranean Triangle in Eagle Rock

Chicken Breast Sandwich

You will like this place.

(I've got to get this review out before all of this leaves my memory: I've recently given up chicken. I'm moving upwards on that busy and productive first week in Genesis. Once I leave behind sea creatures, I'll be up to the third day, just "plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.")

I've been to Mediterranean Triangle dozens of times now. I had to be sure that I wasn't just falling for it because it was in the Super-A-grocery-store mall next to CVS, Subway, and some other nondescript, non-boutique shops, on the south side of Colorado, down Eagle Rock Boulevard, where the expensive baby strollers rarely go (unless they're parked outside of Auntie Em's).

You'll see pictures of this military-looking guy in the four painting reproductions on the wall in the dining room. The paintings are Persian, and they each feature a Persian woman in a garden; this military guy appears in small medallions once in each painting, in a different location, tiny, and a little out of focus, sort of like the royal parents in Velázquez's Las Meninas. The guy behind the counter told me, after some prodding, that the guy done in miniature in all the paintings was the old Shah. He didn't specify which one -- though it doesn't look like The Shah we think about. (The moustache is a bit too big.)

Mediterranean Triangle is trying hard to be a decent Middle Eastern place in a crappy, soulless shopping center. And they are doing a decent job of it. The restaurant is tastefully appointed, with small touches that I found instilled the dining space with some dignity -- like cloth placemats on the tables, with nice lamps hanging down over each table. Not bad for a place that's next door to a check-cashing center. You feel human eating here.

I haven't had the lamb or beef here (those are from the fifth day, which I left behind many years ago), but the chicken dishes I have had here have been excellent -- moist and tender. The chicken breast plate comes with large chunks of chicken breast, nicely seasoned, not overly marinated or doused in sauce, served on a generous bed of fluffy rice, with a bit of salad and a grilled pepper and tomato on the side. The ground chicken (the luleh) was also nice, with a little bit more of a kick of seasoning. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the chicken breast sandwich they offer at lunch. It was huge, with a delicious sauce, onions and lettuce. It was drippy and messy, but a seriously satisfying lunch.

There's a little bar of side dishes, with Persian equivalents of hummus, baba ghanoush, and some other stuff. I was happy to find that, in addition to the standard soda fountain, they also carry mango juice here.

I have no idea why they call this the "Mediterranean Triangle." The restaurant is run by a family of very friendly Iranians, and the names of the dishes are Persian. Iran doesn't touch the Mediterranean. I guess they didn't want to go with "Caspian Triangle, ""Persian Gulf Triangle," or "Gulf of Oman Triangle." Just another mysterious detail here.

I won't oversell you on the food here: it's good, not fantastic. But for the prices (~$6 for lunch, ~$9 for dinner), you get a very solid meal, with civilized touches. You might even think about eating in here, where the TV hanging near the counter is silenced, and you can sit in peace and contemplate the cryptic paintings, with their Persian maidens, their bowls of cracked pomegranates, and a mysterious old Shah.

Chicken Luleh Kabob Plate


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