December 21 - 28, 1 9 9 5
[on the cheap]



The Pars Café, with its array of ancient foods and spices, brings thousands of years of history to modern-day Brighton. The extensive menu offers descriptions for anyone new to Persian food. Pita bread and cheese with fresh mint leaves is the complimentary starter, but if you're looking for something more substantial to nibble before your meal, the Pars appetizer platter ($9.95) is enough to feed two as a main course. Included on the platter are kookoo sabzi, fried Persian herbs and green vegetables; dolmeh, grape leaves stuffed with minty ground beef, vegetables, and rice; kashk-o-bademjan, a blend of eggplant and whey; and olovieh, tangy Persian chicken salad with potatoes, pickles, and peas.

If you're still hungry after the appetizer, the nan-o-joojeh ($6.50) -- skewered chicken served in toasted pita bread, with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, all topped with house dressing -- will surely satisfy. The other sandwiches are also tasty, but stay clear of the nan-o-koobideh ($5.25), unless you like Salisbury steak. Drink up the freshly brewed iced tea, which has a new twist when served with lime ($1.50) or, if you're having something really spicy, cool down with doogh ($1.75), a Persian yogurt drink. For dessert, try bastani ($3.50), Persian ice cream flavored with rosewater. The Pars Café has delightful and exotic food that would make you feel like you'd traveled back in time if it weren't for the background music (disco songs in Farsi).

Pars Café, 559 Washington Street, in Brighton, is on the number 57 bus line from Kenmore Station through Brighton Center. Open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call 783-4900.

-- Myfanwy Collins