When it comes to grilled shish kabobs, crispy falafel, and tender gyro meat, no one does it better than The Grill. Fooda consumers named this Waltham eatery the Best Mediterranean Lunch in Boston, and it’s easy to see why. Owners Zara and Ali Nowrouzi take a refreshing approach to Persian cuisine by cooking high-quality meats and delicious vegetarian dishes on a six-foot grill with no butter or additives. We caught up with Ali to learn what inspired him to open The Grill and got the scoop on some tasty new items hitting the menu in 2018.
What’s the story behind The Grill?
Growing up, my mother would cook marinated meats on an electric grill in our kitchen. Later, we had a full grill with a chimney inside our house. The grill was always active and going every lunch and dinner. I’ve always been interested in food, but I didn’t consider opening a restaurant until 2014. I owned a building in which two restaurants had closed a year earlier. I decided to open one up, bring in a Greek chef, and give it a try.
What is your best-selling dish?
Our best-selling appetizer is the Kashk Bademjan. We grill the eggplant with the skin on, scoop out the flesh, and sauté it with onion, mint, and our secret dressing. It has a smoky flavor; everyone loves it. Our chicken shish kabob is also popular. We marinate the chicken for four to five hours in olive oil, lemon juice, onion juice, saffron, turmeric, parsley, and mint. Then we skewer it with red peppers and onions and put it on the grill.
Have you noticed any food trends in Mediterranean cuisine?
We sell a lot of falafel. People are eating lighter food and more people are going vegetarian and vegan. The trend is to go healthier and offer more vegetarian items that people are looking for.
Where do you find inspiration for the menu?
The menu is inspired by recipes from my childhood, from my mother and grandparents. My father had a sensitive stomach and couldn’t have any butters or oils, so my mother grilled a lot of fresh breads and simple, high-quality meats without additives.
What is a misconception people have about Mediterranean food?
People are often confused about where Mediterranean food comes from. Our food is a mix of Persian, Greek, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Though, Mediterranean food can also be from Spain or Italy.
Why do you think consumers voted you Best Mediterranean Lunch in Boston?
When customers eat our food they don’t feel stuffed or full; they can go back to work and be productive without having to take a nap. It’s light and natural, which keeps people coming back.
Do you have any exciting plans for The Grill in 2018?
We are trying to come up with a little bit of a different menu. We’re working on introducing another vegetarian dish, and possibly lamb meatballs.
The foodies of Boston have cast their votes and named The Grill the Best Mediterranean Lunch in Boston. Celebrated for its high-quality grilled meats and plentiful vegetarian options, there’s no better place to get a taste of Persian cuisine without leaving home.