This restaurant has weapons of mass consumption

I ran to Caspian Bistro for exquisite Iranian food.

WHAT: Caspian Bistro & Marketplace WHERE: 2418 University Avenue SE There is a place down on University Avenue, just past the extended reach of campus and the drone of stadium construction, where one can sit down in quiet ambience and enjoy the mouth-watering flavors of wonderfully prepared Middle Eastern (primarily Iranian) cuisine. ItâÄôs called Caspian Bistro, and while this appealing little restaurant lies just beyond our sweeping border there are hardly ever any students to be found within its decorative walls. Instead the place is riddled with the familiar old faces of bourgie suburbanites searching for the latest and greatest ethnic food to spice up their vanilla lives. This needs to change. Here in Minnesota there are few places that serve true Middle Eastern food and even fewer that make it so delectable. The BistroâÄôs menu is sprawling, offering a wide variety of finely prepared meat dishes at competitive prices. All entrees come with a side salad, warm pita bread and a hearty helping of steamed basmati rice tinged with saffron. But be careful not to fill up on these delights alone because the main courses are equally appetizing. One of the best entrees on the menu is the national dish of Iran, the Chelo-Kabob Koobideh, which consists of two sizeable kabobs made of ground beef and lamb meat served over rice with a massive tomato on the side. For poultry fans, thereâÄôs the chicken koobideh, two gigantic skewers of golden chicken grilled to perfection. Grab one of the sumac shakers at your table and sprinkle on a generous dose. Your taste buds will be sent to Pleasure Town. The BistroâÄôs gyro is another incredible menu item. It costs 10 dollars, but the massive serving of tender lamb meat will undoubtedly leave you with enough leftovers to have an outstanding lunch the next day, which makes it a pretty good deal. Throw it in some pita bread and top it off with one of the best tasting cucumber sauces out there and youâÄôll have the greatest gyro of your life. Unfortunately for those seeking out liquor to go with the Iranian cookery, the Bistro doesnâÄôt serve alcohol. But those feeling adventurous can try a traditional drink called doogh. ItâÄôs a carbonated yogurt soda flavored with mint and salt, which might sound strange, but it goes perfectly with the seasoned Iranian meats. On top of all the wonderful eats that the diverse menu offers, Caspian Bistro also functions as a grocery store. They have a wide variety of hard to find Iranian favorites, like colossal pomegranates, fresh figs and palatable pistachios. They even have a section of Iranian cultural products. You can grab some CDâÄôs and listen to all your favorite pop stars, from Googoosh to Hayedeh , as you chow down. As a whole, Caspian Bistro is a thoroughly enjoyable culinary experience. The menu is extensive and the food is flawless. While some entrees can get a little costly, the generous portions and high quality more than make up for price.