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Tehran's Famous Eateries Survive Fast-Food Revolution

By Farshid Alyan; source: Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR)

Many residents of the capital still prefer the traditional Iranian fare offered at the older restaurants.

The number of chain restaurants and fast-food outlets in the huge shopping malls of Tehran are increasing every day, rivaling the city's traditional eateries.

The old and well-known restaurants and sandwich shops still have their own regular customers, who come for the classic Iranian dishes on offer.

For instance, the Sharaf-ol Eslami restaurant has been serving its customers a particular favourite Chelo Kebab (Kebab and rice) since it was opened in 1938.

Another culinary landmark is the Dizi restaurant which has been offering a popular beef broth for the past 40 years.

The middle-aged and some young people still prefer the traditional Iranian foods to the foreign ones.

For this reason, Sirabi Pazi (restaurants that make broth with lamb's tripe) and Kale Pazi (those that offer a traditional dish made with a sheep's head and hooves) still have a lot of customers despite the fact that doctors have warned that these foods are unhealthy as they're very heavy in saturated animal fats.

Among the old sandwich shops across the city, there's an outlet called Yek Fereydoon, nicknamed Feri Kasif (Dirty Feri). This is not a reference to the quality of the food, rather an attempt to distinguish it from the newer kids on the block with their glamour and frills.

One of the classic sandwich shops in north Tehran decided to change its name twenty years ago to Bobby Sands to attract public attention. Bobby Sands was a member of Provisional Irish Republican Army who died in 1981 after 66 days of hunger strike in a prison in Northern Ireland. Since then, in a snub to Britain, Iran changed the name of Churchill street next to the British embassy in Tehran to Bobby Sands street.

... Payvand News - 04/30/11 ... --

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