Atlas Specialty, Calgary

I love Persian kebabs. The Iranian specialty is full of flavour and charbroiled-ness and it saves me from having to shovel the way to my own barbecue.

I’ve written about a few places in town like Royal Kabab Express and Ali Baba but they tend to be casual fast food/take out.

Atlas Specialty on the other hand is a comfortable restaurant to sit and dine on delicious Persian specialties. Before or after your meal, you can browse the grocery part of the business which sells bags of huge Persian flatbread, spices and beans.

The platter for two ($31.99) is the best deal and was enough for three. Two skewers of koobideh (spiced AAA ground beef), one skewer of barg (striploin) and one of joojeh (chicken) come with two huge plates of saffron rice with roasted tomatoes and onions.

I’m usually a big beef fan but the moist chicken (which we got spicy) really got my attention.

Atlas Specialty, Calgary

I’m so glad we also tried a sample of three Persian stews, known as khoresht, ($15.99). The fesenjoon looks unassuming but it’s a mind-blowing combination of ground walnuts, pomegranate paste and chicken.

Gheimeh is a heavier stew for a cold day with yellow split beans and chunks of sirloin in a mild tomato base, while badenjan has pieces of fried eggplant and sirloin. All of Atlas’ stews are available in small and large sizes.

I got a kick out of Atlas naming a dish after George, the owner of Tunedub, where I take my Volkswagen. George is an awesome mechanic, honest business owner and all-around nice guy, so it’s only fitting his name is linked to two skewers of spicy joojeh.

Atlas isn’t licensed but there are plenty of beverages to keep you quenched including Persian tea, juices (pomegranate, sour cherry, mango, pineapple) or doogh, a yogurt drink. I don’t love doogh but it’s worth trying if you’ve never had it.

Atlas Specialty Supermarket & Persian Cuisine, 1000-9 Ave. SW, Calgary, (403) 230-0990. Open Monday to Thursday 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday & Saturday noon-9 p.m., Sunday noon-7:30 p.m.

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