If we ever become friends, really really close friends. Chances are I’ll tell you about the casual hidden gen I frequent 2-3 times a week. Shiraz Bistro and Market may not yet be on your radar, but it will be. It’s the place to go to try the best Turkish food in Miami. It’s also a great place to sample of the best Persian food in Miami. It’s not a pretentious fancy space with all the bells and whistles. You won’t see a belly dancer or a smoke of kids on the hooka. What you will find is dish after dish or amazing homestyle Turkish and Persian food to make you melt. It’s a bit out of the way on an off street parallel to US1, near the Dadeland mall area. Tucked away you’ll see the little shopping strip with a church next door and residential areas all around. If you weren’t introduced this hole in the wall hidden gem, you would never find it. So allow me to introduce you and you’re welcome.
The adjacent strip mall parking lot means easy and free parking. Then you’ll enter and immediately see a rustic modern style bistro with an in-house market. The market has tons of Turkish and Persian finds.
I love searching the market for cookies, spices, cheeses, yogurts, teas, coffees, and so much more. I frequent the market for Persian style chickpea cookies (baby girl loves them and they are not too sweet), saffron sugar cubes, Turkish coffee, rose water, orange blossom water, and Turkish Delights (rose is my personal favorite). I love wandering around seeing all the new goodies. Sometimes they have these cute little embellished Turkish bowls. I bought one and use it every day for my vitamins. It’s gorgeous.
Now to the reason I’m there every chance I get. Good homestyle cooking. The kind of food your Persian or Turkish grandmother would make you.
You’ll find the usual appetizers common in Turkish restaurants: stuffed grape leaves, hummus, sausage, etc. My favorite appetizer is a Persian one called Kashkeh Bademjan or Kashke-e Bademjan. It’s eggplant based with walnuts, garlic, a bunch of other stuff and something called Kask (whey), which is a byproduct of curdled milk (buttermilk), can be found in Iranian or Middle Eastern grocery stores.
Persian rice is a must try in life. It’s so flavorful and amazing, no description could do it justice. Most Persians love to top it with butter and a little sumac ( a tart red spice usually on the table). If you want to make your Persian rice sweeter, ask for a side of Barberries known in Farsi as Zereshk. These red dried berries are plumped up with a little butter and sugar. Topped on rice adds a little sweetness and I particularly love it with chicken and rice.
The crust or “bottom of the pot” in Persian style rice is called Tadig. Another must try for sure. Crunchy and perfect to eat alone or with the lamb shank or any of the Persian stews.
My favorite stew is the Ghormeh Sabzi – Persian Herb Stew. Other ones I love are the Khoresh Bademjan – Eggplant Stew and the Khoresh Gheymeh: A Traditional Iranian Dish with Meat and Yellow Split Peas.
Tea drinker or not, you have to start your meal with a hot tea.
The appatizers were all amazing. It was my first time trying their grape leaves and they did not disapoint. I also love the warm goat cheese-filled phyllo dough scrolls.
I love their greek salad! It’s fresh tasting and the house dressing is amazing. I always ask for extra dressing. Drown everything with it! I got the juicy (and I mean seriously the best juciest chicken you will ever find hands down) chicken and instead of rice, I opted for it over Greek salad. Paleo baby! 😉 Talk about a healthy AMAZING lunch or dinner. You will feel wonderful after such a healthy meal. All the entrees are delicious with Persian style rice or a salad.
After our entrees we managed to save just enough space for some Turkish coffee!!! You get the most beautiful cup, glass of water, and a Turkish Delight. Our Turkish Delights were rose flavored today. So good. This is a Kunefe. A warm cheese baked with bits of phyllo dough, and a syrup of what I think is organge blossom (not sure). The top it off with pistachio crumbles. It’s cheesy, crisp, and sweet. To die for!
Shiraz Bistro & Market Makes The Best Turkish & Persian Food in Miami
Hands down this is an amazing spot for hardcore foodies. You would never know by looking as the small shopping center just off US-1 that you could find such awesome middle eastern food and market. I totally recommend you check it out and have the best meal of your life. It’s all about the food here. You’ll feel right at home.