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Shahin & Sepehr

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Tehran's junk food heaven

April 21, 1999
The Iranian

Darband is definitely among my favorite places in Tehran. I love the fact that there is an abundance of junk food as far as the eye can see, and that it is Iranian junk food! Lavashak, aloo jangali, chaqaleh badum, gerdoo, zalzalk, you name it. There is little room for imported candies. In fact, the only packaged junk food found in abundance is pofak namaki, which is a national treasure (ask any Iranian kid).

I adore the restaurant-lined twisted path that leads up the mountain. The sound of the flowing stream, combined with the smell of kabab, jeegar, and fruit-flavored hookas is truly intoxicating. The men shouting to draw in passers-by into their restaurants crack me up: "befarmayeed...baa zabun-e khosh-e khodetun befarmayeed!" ("Welcome...I say get in before I have to get rough!")

But what I love the most about Darband is that it is one of the few places in Tehran that is a true social melting pot: where a chadori woman frequents just as much as a Westernized Iranian.

Here are some photos keh deletun aab sh-e! Just for you, I will be sitting on one of the takht and smoking a hookah in your honor. Come to think of it, a skewer of jeegar with some maast will also hit the spot.

Click on images to see larger photos:



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