By Joe Duffy
For all its imperfections, Yelp is a good square one for unearthing low-profile restaurants. There have been sundry letdowns, and even a few total duds along the way. However, I’ve surmised when traveling, it sure beats querying the concierge or front desk person at a hotel for grubbing guidance.
The best leads locally from the Y site? You had to interrogate, didn’t you? Now I have to weep in my Georgia brewed craft beer as I notify you how much I yearn for the comeback of the life changing Myzenes, a Goan restaurant to which Suwanee was just not worthy. But several currently prospering restaurants compete for title of poster child of why the good outweighs the bad on the crowdsourcing site. Noosh Kitchen, at the corner of Douglas Road and Jones Bridge Road, the former Stacie’s (speaking of places I miss) location, is as quintessential an example as any.
I’ve been going there since the early days, long before they expanded into the unit next door and went a little more upscale. To the bliss of many, the menu enlarged too. The original bill of fare did justice to all Persian staples with the tender Chenjeh Kabob (charbroiled lamb tenderloin), tender and medium rare—a chart topper.
Indicative of how far the menu has expanded is the amount of lamb dishes. One can choose from lamb tenderloin, rack of lamb, and braised lamb shank. Too often when restaurants grow, maintaining quality is challenging, but Chef Nooshin Yazdani’s restaurant only got better. Possibly my favorite item that was not on the original menu is the lunch Shredded Tongue Wrap. I’ve gobbled tongue sandwiches at extraordinary Jewish delis and tongue tacos at real Mexican restaurants, but this is the premier dish of said meat I’ve ever sampled. It’s seasoned with cilantro, parsley, onion, tomato, radish, and pickle.
One of Noosh’s many happy clientele, Carole Madan loves how healthy the food is. But the self-described “Momma Nature” also loves the upscale atmosphere, “relaxing, welcoming, and absolutely a must-visit.” Ms. Madan said the only Persian restaurant comparable is the since-closed The Cedar Cafe in Alpharetta. This carnivore would agree, The Cedar did all vegetarian dishes as well as anyone, but Noosh is the meat eater’s choice.
As much as I find chicken breast to be the most banal of meats, their chicken kabobs are marinated overnight in lemon juice and saffron to make this boneless joojeh as tender and tasty as said bird can be. However, it’s the charbroiled taste that puts it over the top. Newsflash: you neither have to fry white meat yardbird nor bathe it in curry to make it next-level gratifying. After eating said dish for the first time, I forgot it was healthy. Other organic poultry dishes include a Cornish Hen Kabob.
At Noosh, the cooking process turbocharges the flavor of so many dishes. The combination of tasty (but not overwhelming) spices is crowned by open flame cooking of the Barg (tenderloin tail) Kabob. The versatility of this place is among the many strengths. Salmon, sea bass, shrimp, and plenty of vegetarian is also available in addition to using many parts of lamb, cow, and chicken.
Noosh is not only a favorite of Megan Peller for Persian/Middle Eastern food, but justifiably, “one of our absolute favorite restaurants in the area.” A frequent guest, she effuses praise on several menu items, “Their chicken kabobs with saffron rice are so delicious. We also love the feta, pita bread, and herb appetizer (Naan Panir Sabzi); eggplant dips (Kashk-e-Bademjan and Eggplant Delight); and their hearty bean and barley soup (Ash-e-Jo) is my personal favorite,” she reveals. However, she is not the only one in the household with a discriminating palate, elaborating that “other family members love the beef kabobs and lamb dishes.”
Sandy Springs staple Rumi’s Kitchen, which opened a second location in nearby Avalon, is the consensus favorite place for such cuisine. The lesser-known, lower-profile Noosh is second to nobody.
Noosh Kitchen, 11880 Douglas Road #200, Johns Creek, GA 30005
I’m exceedingly jubilant to see that Brian Keenan, of Meating Street Barbecue, is now creating in the kitchen at one of the area’s finest restaurants—Table & Main. His world-famous Texas style beef barbecue has been featured. I know of sundry people who would be ecstatic to see more MSBBQ meats sneak onto the T&M menu…
Good and inexpensive eating house American Pasta Factory is a favorite of Tara Gary. I’ve had two good meals there myself…
Oh, speaking of the versatile writer, good to see Ms. Gary at the well-attended first annual Roswell Food & Beverage Festival. We liked all three craft beers from From the Earth Brewing Company—Can’t Find My Way Home (an appropriate name for a 10.2% ABV) was both of our favorites. They’re coming into their own as a serious player among Great Atlanta’s best breweries… Mitch’s Meats & Fish stole the show with their truffle shrimp and crab biscuits with lobster gravy. The most hearkened advice overhead at the festival was, “You have to try Mitch’s Meats.”
It didn’t take long to endeavor the national dish of NJ—pork roll, egg, and cheese on a Kaiser roll—at my beloved The Savory Gourmet at Teasley Place in downtown Alpharetta. It’s among the NY/NJ breakfast sandwiches they provide. I now have a “Big 4” of daily breakfast options in Currenthubville: Hen Mother Cookhouse, Gracious Plenty, Douceur de France, and The Savory Gourmet.
When he’s not eating, which is rare, the author is CEO of Sports Handicapping website OffshoreInsiders.com. His bride’s gift site, DuffyGifts.com is the place to go for gifts of all occasions from My Thirty One Gifts.