Update on Persian Food/Caspian Cafe
Stopped by CC in Germantown Sat., had my yummy usual order of kubideh kabob on rice. The pita is not fresh-baked there - I never said it was - but I'll take food on a real plate with real utensils anytime. Moby Dick's has paper plates & plastic knives & forks, and I have torn my plate cutting thru the kabobs & dry rice there.
I peeked into the ladies room at C Cafe, due to a past Chowhound complaint, and no, it's not spotless, but I've seen the same quality at other places. Luckily we don't eat our meals in public bathrooms, in fact how often do you use one at a self-serve or carry-out place?
Somebody also made a comment about one of the cooks at C Cafe being Asian or non-middle-Eastern. I'm not sure what to take of that comment - if you have a Hispanic employee at an Ethiopian restaurant, does that make the food inaccurate or bad? On my last CC visit there was, as usual, a middle-Eastern couple at C Cafe working the grill and this time an Asian employee at the register. And so?
It's true I've only gone to the Bethesda Moby Dick's, but that one gets cluttered, the tables awfully close together, boxes crowding the hallway to the bathroom. Maybe it's a better experience at the Kentlands one? I'll check that out someday.
P.S. Went to Shamshiry once, years ago - pretty inside, I remember the meal being good, but Tysons Corner is too far for frequent visits, and there's the Rte 7 & 123 traffic...
It was me that mentioned there were no middle eastern people there when I visited CC. I just noted it because the day I was there, there were no middle eastern people anywhere to be seen, cooking, taking orders, or eating. I'm just saying it seemed odd. MD always has tons of middle eastern people working and eating there. Evidently I hit CC at a strange, off time because everyone else I've heard mention it loves it. So take my post for what it's worth.
One of the problems with restaurants that have multiple locations is that there can be significant differences in the quality of the food and the experience from one location to another. As an example I don't like the Moby Dick in Georgetown. It's cramped, feels cold and uninviting and even the best kabob and fluffiest, most fragrant rice won't taste as good.
However the Moby in McLean has a personality. Cramped, acceptibly so, but it just has the feel of a great joint. I never paid attention to the plates there, I honestly don't remember if they're cheap plastic or cardboard. But the homemade nan is almost always hot off the fire, the yogurt and hummus are thick and homemade, a big chunk of unsalted butter adorns the saffron rice and the charcoal onions and tomatoes are a wonderful accompaniment to incredible,thick juicy chicken kabobs.
The Moby in Fairfax Towne Center near Rt. 50 and 66 is relatively new and feels like a chain restaurant. It doesn't do nearly the business of the Baja Fresh next door. (Moby in McLean always has a line out the door during the two hours of lunch.) It lacks the personality and, somehow, like Georgetown the food just doesn't taste as good.
I don't know about Kentlands. Nor about restrooms. But I know that at its best Moby Dick is a wonderful, addictive place to indulge in some seriously good semi- fattening food.