Saeid and Mojgon Eshaghipour have made a comfortable home for themselves amid the burger joints, frozen yogurt shops, and Italian sausage trees of New Jersey, but they'll never forget the traditional dishes of their native Iran. When it comes to their menu's tender cornish hen kebabs or tangy burberries, the couple opened their restaurant to share the treasured delicacies of their homeland with their new neighbors.
Amid the aromatic steam in the eatery's kitchen, the Eshaghipours cook an array of traditional Persian dishes that often have them seasoning lamb, ground beef, and chicken specialties with flavors of cinnamon, dried lemon, and pomegranate paste. When discussing their culinary process with reporters from The Record, Saeid's brother and restaurant manager, Reza, proudly asserted, "almost everything is grilled; there is no deep frying. We buy only fresh meat, and all processing is done at the restaurant. We grind it here, prepare it here." Along with that commitment to fresh food, some nights see the restaurant hosting special events, including live Persian music and belly-dancing performances.
Whether in New York or New Jersey, it's easy to find Cafe 22 thanks to its red and white awning and the aroma of authentic soul food emanating from its kitchen. The chefs prepare a truly extensive menu of breakfast eats, sandwiches, burgers, and southern entrees, sometimes blending those into single dishes. They top buttermilk waffles with jumbo fried shrimp or pile barbecued fish alongside creamy mac and cheese. They pair these Southern delicacies with all the expected sides, such as candied yams, collard greens, and six types of grits.