Vienna, VA 22182
Visited: November 21, 2009
Shamshiry, the name means...Shamshiry. Actually I have no idea what the name means, but I wouldn't be surprised if it translates to "Place that serves deliciously tasty kabobs in a busy crowded restaurant".Hmmm ...probably no chance that would be the actual translation, then again I'm not Iranian...errr...Persian. :-) The first thing that hits you as you walk into Shamshiry is not just the line and always crowded restaurant (call ahead if you can), but the delicious smell of the meats being grilled in the kitchen.
Whatever Shamshiry means or whomever the place was named after, it's a bustling gem in the heart of the Tysons Corner industrial district. The food is always delicious, the service may leave a little bit to be desired but you'll always leave with a full stomach and happy images of oversized plates of with welcoming mountains of rice and large pieces of chicken, beef or ground beef kabobs. The food never disappoints and you'll find yourself breaking all promises of being carb healthy by devouring the mammoth mound of rice set before you.
For me, Shamshiry is not only an international experience because of the Iranian cuisine, but because of the simple fact that every time I've come to dine at this remarkable establishment it's been with a variable United Nations of friends: Filipinos, Americans, Iranians (a.k.a. Persians as they'll remind you), Chinese, Moroccan or Lebanese. All of us sharing the common bond of being friends, but mainly all being people who love delicious food.
I was won over during my first visit as I ordered the Jujeh Kabob; chunks of Cornish hen grilled over the charcoal fires of the Shamshiry kitchen. The flavors of the grilled Cornish hen wowed me and I was truly won over by the Shamshiry chefs after I tried cuts of my friend's Kubideh (ground beef kabob) and delicate cuts of the Chelo (fillet Mignon) kabob. The Persian chefs are obvious masters of marinating, spicing and most importantly grilling all cuts of meat to perfection.
Quick note to all beer and wine connoisseurs; enjoy your tasty beverages at home as Shamshiry does not serve Alcohol. The only drinks available are yogurt drinks, hot/cold tea and soft drinks. My advice is to enjoy the hot tea with your meal and grab a drink with friends/loved ones after your visit to Shamshiry. Plus, with all the rice you'll be eating, it's probably a good thing Shamshiry doesn't serve alcohol; you won't overload on carbs....Dr. Atkins would be proud!
To me, Shamshiry would easily be a 5-star establishment if it didn't suffer from shabby service. Reservations or call ahead seatings do not always guarantee you a table, and there may be nights when they have been known to all together abandon the whole notion of reservations. Depending on your waiter, you may be treated like a king of Kings with every need being met. Other nights just grabbing the waiter's attention can be a feat in itself. The only thing that makes up for such inconsistent service is the food. You'll never go hungry and you'll never leave disappointed. If you have the patience to wait for a table and the conviction to find Shamshiry camouflaged among unremarkable office buildings, you will definitely enjoy your visit and will already be mentally planning your next return before being halfway done with your mountain of rice.