New Stuff

Restaurant Reviews (by Kim Gentes)

Over the years I have eaten at a lot of different resaurants.  Many are local to the Phoenix area, since I have lived there for 21 years.  Some are in various cities that I have visited or travelled to with work.

Entries in eating out (2)

Lazziz Persian Restaurant (Nashville, TN)

I like to try different ethnic foods.  This last weekend, two of my sons and a friend joined me in trying out a Persian restaurant called "Lazziz" in Nashville. It is located along Nolensville Pike, which also is home to many authentic Mexican food restaurants.  We found the food, the people and the atmosphere to be a pleasant experience.  The food was not what I expected.  I assumed it would be somewhat spicy and somewhat curry based.  Instead, it was lightly salted and spiced with a surprisingly accessible flavor.

The restaurant was nice for its modest location and low pricing. The room was well lit, open and family sensibilities were obviously a consideration rather than romantic dining. This suited me just fine, and I liked the decor, bright colors and clean appearance. The staff was quick to seat us and to come to our table for drinks, and appetizers. We were treated warmly and with a family style hospitality. Lots of refills on the drinks and generous offers of assistance throughout. One felt the comfortability of being at home, while maintaining the service level that celebrated you as a special guest.

We started our meal with barley soup, some sort of flat bread and butter, feta cheese, walnut and assorted kinds of leafy vegetables on an appetizer plate to be shared. The soup was good and tasty, but not spicy like I had feared it might be. This was my first indication that perhaps the experience would not be too spicy for me and I was glad for it. While I don't personally like the bitter taste of walnuts, the entire appetizer tray was a nice welcome to a foreign cuisine.

The entree that I ordered was called "Sultani Barg Kebab", which included two skewers of exceptional meat. The first one was a perfectly cooked set of strip steak pieces. It was really served just right and still sizzling when I got it. I loved it. In fact, I shared several pieces with the 3 other people with me, since it was clearly excellent. The second kebab was a ground meat called "Koobideh" which reminded me of everything I love about meatballs, but with a zesty salty flavor instead of any sauce. I loved it as well. My meal included a generous portion of excellent rice (can't tell you what kind) and it was topped with delicious covering of Saffron for color, texture and flavor.  I don't ever remember enjoying rice so much. The entre was completed with a baked tomato served whole next to the rice. It was the perfect addition to the "basics" ethos of the beef and rice entre and was a nice taste balance.

We also enjoyed 4 different types of dessert to finish out meal. The bakery counter in the adjacent Persian market supplied the sweets for our dessert.  I am not honestly sure of the names of the items we sampled for dessert -the four of us each shared a bite of each dessert. My favorite, however, was the cream puff which lived up to its name and delighted the palette with fluffy sweetness.

After the meal I chatted with the staff and met a fine gentlemen named Navid who explained a bit more about the recently opened restaurant.  Overall the experience was exceptional, and considering the quality and quantity of food received, the cost seemed very reasonable.  Many dishes were under $10 and the premium offerings were between $12 and $15- a very good value in my mind.

But what impressed me most about this restaurant was not just the excellent food and top notch family-style service, but the accessibility of the menu for everyone.  My wife is a very choosy eater- sticking to the basic dishes of American style food. She doesn't like much spice and is absolutely not looking to adventure with food choices. Safe and familiar is her motto. Yet, I am confident that I could take her to this location and she would greatly enjoy the beef and rice based dishes they had- with joy!  Everything seemed tasty, yet accessible to most palettes.

Will I return? Absolutely! And with my sweetheart next time!  If you are a Nashville native, this is one little place to try, without taking any risk of ending up with something you might not like.

Lazziz Persian Restaurant
3725 Nolensville Pike,
Nashville, TN 37211
Ph: 615-333-0772 

Good eating!

Kim Gentes

Mi Bandeja Paisa Restaurant (Orlando, Florida)

My son, Jordan, and I went to this restaurant really only by chance. We found it in a local mall near where our convention was. It was a great experience. The meals we chose were attempts by us novices to taste some authentic Colombian dishes. I had the meal which is the namesake of the restaurant, called Bandeja Paisa. It was very good.

Bandeja Paisa had the following each cooked and placed on a wooden tray bedded with banana leaves

  • Skirt steak, thin slices and tender
  • Corn cake/biscuit
  • Rice 
  • One over easy egg
  • Pork belly sausage
  • Cooked plantains
  • Thick sliced pork back bacon
  • Half sliced avacado
  • Bowl of beans (soup)

I know this dish sounds like strange collection of breakfast / dinner foods, but it really was delightful. Everything was cooked hot but not overcooked. The sweet plantains made a nice contrast to the salty steak. The rice was perfectly done and salted. 

Others had some talapia (dish) and a dish with a type of steak strips in a sautee of vegetables and some kind of french fries.

The staff was great, giving lots of tips and being kind with every request.

Desert was the coupe de grace-- a marvelous flan dish was a great combination of caramel and gelatin.

But, even after this great dinner, the absolute best, most amazing thing I had was the strawberries and creme desert. Homemade creme, fresh cut strawberries and served in large portions with a cinnamon stick. The creme was not too sweet to make you feel overloaded.  It was perfect balance of sweet opulance. If you are in Orland, Florida and can make it to this side of town, you have to try the strawberries and creme.

You won't be disappointed. Try this place!


Mi Bandeja Paisa
Fine Colombian Cuisine 
(407) 704-7888‎

12701 S John Young Pkwy
Orlando, FL 32837

Good eating!

Kim Gentes