CUISINE Middle Eastern, Vegetarian/Vegan
PRICE Under $12
HOURS Open for lunch and dinner daily.
NVM AWARDS Best New Restaurant 2009
NEARBY METRO None
By Warren Rojas
“Are you ready?” owner Mowafak Ashagra asks one boomer couple as they stare intently at the Tigris Grill menu board.
“Too many good things to choose from,” they respond in unison, with the husband explaining away their delayed reaction by noting, “normally we have to go a long distance to get this type of food.”
Likewise, Ashagra covered a great deal of distance to serve his native cuisine.
The Iraqi transplant has garnered a cult following amid ethnic-dining enthusiasts by serving up assorted specialty dishes (knobby lamb shanks appear most weekends) and Persian comfort foods (citrus-soaked salads, charcoal-fired kebabs).
A steal of a lunch deal makes sampling easy, offering up a four-course feast (soup, salad, fresh-baked pita and your choice of entrees) for under $6.
Traditional Iraqi soup brings lentils simmered down to near mush, yet subtly accented with chicken broth (communicates little more than the requisite amount of salt) and minced onions (savory). Salmon is escorted across flame until its pinkish hue graduates to sunrise orange, the underlying meat left pick-apart tender. Grilled steak (terrific) muscles its way into a straight-from-the-tandoor pita packed with ripe tomatoes, leafy mint, red onions and yogurt sauce.