The Persian Version: Jeddo Kebab

If you look closely enough, you can trace a similarity in base food items from places like Greece and Turkey eastward into China and its environs. This is hardly surprising, considering the history of the famed Silk Road, a network of passages and roadways that helped foment the trade of spices and other goods from China to Syria and everywhere in between, as well as the number of empires which once claimed this vast geographical area.

Despite the turmoil and the wages of time, the cuisine of the Persians (now modern-day Iran) stood the test of time and the changes in area rulers. Back in the Bay Area, there are several Persian eateries of note, but I admit the cuisine was not on my radar as I beginning my area explorations. It wasn't until I got to Columbus when I started digging into this tasty word via the metro's one and only Persian eatery: Jeddo Kebab.

Established in 2002 in a somewhat obscure strip mall near Cleveland Avenue and I-270, Jeddo Kebab moved into a much more friendly space for dining in along State Route 161 a couple years ago when the Scorpion Cafe closed. The artificial palm trees outside may be cheesy in a lot of circumstances, but for whatever reason, it works here, if nothing more for its status as a visual aid.

The interior offers up wood-paneling, tablecloths, ceiling fans and chandeliers, and a generally pleasant place for dining in. I admit that it wasn't until I was more settled in here in the metro that I actually had a chance to experience dining in this interior, because this eatery's dishes are great for take out. Those dining in should take advantage of the hot tea containers located in the corner; this fairly strong brew is definitely a prime candidate for some sugar, even if you're not normally a tea-with-sugar type of drinker.

Kebabs and rice are a big part of Persian cuisine. I once thought a kebab was a kebab was a kebab, but Jeddo helped me break that notion with their variety. All manner of proteins from lamb to beef to shrimp and fish are available to choose from as well as well as grilled or in "barg" (here, cubed tenderloin or lamb) form; a pure vegetarian kebab is also available for the non-meat eaters. We've found that the kebabs are cooked just about perfect on our orders; even the chicken remains juicy and flavorful even after cooling down during the transport home.

Rice is another big part of the dish, and I finally figured out recently that the slab of butter that came with each meal is meant to be melted into the pilaf. I'm perfectly fine with Jeddo's rice as is, but the butter gives this side an extra sumptuousness I enjoyed very much.

Jeddo Kebab has options on either side of the ledger of their kebab dishes. Those looking for a more lavish dinner can opt for the Lamb Chop or Zereshk Polo Ba Margh (an oven-baked half-chicken with Persian rice), while those for something a little bit more lunch friendly can opt for the sandwich wraps. Interestingly enough, you can get these wraps "spicy", but in this case, you don't get heat but rather a potent and pleasing tang. For those dining in, slather your fries with sumac rather than pepper for an additional tang to your meal.

Jeddo Kebab
2171 E. Dublin-Granville Rd. (Northland - Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43229
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