Monday, February 17, 2014

Saffron Grill

I had lunch twice recently at Saffron Grill in Folsom, a restaurant serving mostly Persian cuisine. Middle Eastern cooking generally includes many vegan options, and the menu at Saffron Grill was no exception.

On my first visit, I ordered Gheymeh Stew, a delicious combination of yellow split peas, onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, and potatoes, served with rice. As you can see below, the food looked so good that I forgot to take the picture until after I had already dug into my lunch.

When I went back again, I ordered the Ghormeh Sabzi Stew, described on the menu as "fresh green herbs sautéed and cooked with kidney beans, sun dried lime." It was also served with a bed of rice and was quite good as well.

Other vegan options at Saffron Grill include the Veggie Kebab, Eggplant Dish, Salted Vegetables, and Persian Crispy Rice with a choice of stew. I was much too full after my previous visits to order dessert, but one of these days, I hope to try the Faloodeh Shirazi, a concoction of rice noodles, crushed ice, rose water, and sugar.

I think it's important to mention that there are pitfalls to ordering at Saffron Grill. The first time I dined there, I was not aware that a small house salad came with my meal until it was delivered to my table with a yogurt-based dressing. You'll need to remember to ask if a salad is included with your meal and, if so, request that your server bring oil and vinegar for your dressing.

The second pitfall came during my second visit. I had sent an email to the restaurant listing the dishes that appeared to be vegan and asking for confirmation. The response I received confirmed that the items I had listed were vegan, except for the hummus, which includes yogurt. So when I had my second lunch at the restaurant, I felt comfortable ordering the Persian olives, which were described on the menu as being prepared with walnuts and pomegranate juice. However, when they arrived at the table, it was clear that something else had been added, and that something else turned out to be yogurt. It appears the chef has different ways to prepare the olives, and that day, she had chosen to add yogurt.

The lesson here is that, while there are numerous tasty vegan dishes on the menu, there is no guarantee that something non-vegan won't occasionally be added. Therefore, if you dine at Saffron Grill, you will want to make sure your server informs the chef that you don't want any non-vegan ingredients in anything you order.

Saffron Grill is located in a strip mall at 1300 East Bidwell Street, Suite 100, in Folsom, and their phone number is 916-984-6800. The website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8:00 p.m.

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