click to enlarge bartlettimage-shiraz.jpg

Photo by Rob Bartlett

Culinary riches and Persian-style kebabs make Shiraz one of the best Middle Eastern markets in Orlando 

Shiraz Market helped fill the void for Persian fare in Seminole County after Zora Grille shuttered in Altamonte Springs, and what's offered from the market's cramped kitchen is nothing short of remarkable. Owner Nas Rajabi, along with his wife and parents, fashions the finest Persian-style beef and chicken kebabs in town and, on any given day, will dish up such Iranian specialties as ghormeh sabzi (beef stew with herbs), khoresht gheymeh bademjan (eggplant stew) and fesenjan (chicken stew).  

In fact, Disney tourists from Iran often make the drive to Longwood for a taste of home – a far cry from the fashion jewelry business the Rajabis ran in chilly Manchester, New Hampshire, prior to coming to Orlando in 2010. "Orlando is a great cultural city and it's the main reason, other than the weather, why we moved here," says Rajabi.

Manchester's loss is most certainly our gain. The culinary riches available at the market, from green almonds and Persian cucumbers to an assortment of cheeses and homemade bastani (pistachio ice cream) and faloodeh (frozen, rose-essenced vermicelli), easily makes Shiraz one of the best Middle Eastern markets in the city. Good thing for us, the Rajabis aren't going anywhere. "In all honesty," says Nas, "we plan on staying here until retirement!" And as long as we're being honest, we hope they do. —FK

Shiraz Market
185 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd., Longwood
407-951-8084

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