As I read through the reviews on Yelp, there’s definitely a recurring theme for those who have dared to step inside one of the newer international restaurants in Reno. The reviewers write that they were “unsure of what to expect” and “resistant” to the idea of eating at Naan & Kabab etc. Much to everyone’s surprise, it seems, their taste buds were pleased.
Since it’s opening on Valentine’s Day 2009, Naan & Kabab etc. has captured the hearts of its customers – 85% of which are repeat visitors.
Owner Chef Maurice describes his menu as a “journey of flavors” through authentic Mediterranean cuisine, the kind he grew up eating with his family in Tehran. The Mediterranean steak, for example, includes a wide array of flavors like saffron, cinnamon and coffee.
Chef Maurice was born to a Jewish family that had fled Bolshevik Russia and later Azerbaijan. When he was 17, he left for California, taking a job in a roadside steakhouse for 95 cents an hour. The story goes that one day, the hard-drinking head chef was too intoxicated to cook, so Maurice stepped up and prepared a steak and eggs breakfast for one of the most critical customers. Chef Maurice says the customer said it was the best breakfast he’d ever had, leaving a 25 cent tip. ”A 20 percent tip, huge for those days!’ Maurice recalled. ”That’s when I knew cooking was my passion.”
While Chef Maurice’s career took him throughout California, he was no stranger to Reno. He had a vacation home in Reno that he visited several times a year. He had always dreamed of opening his own restaurant, so when he “retired” in 2009 from restaurant operations in Northern California, he opened Naan & Kabab etc. in Reno.
Chef Maurice (always donning his chef hat) is a friendly man who takes much pride in his food, his culture and his establishment. Each night he makes the rounds and greets every one of his customers. He’s filled with colorful stories from his childhood, describing elaborate potluck dinners with the families with whom he shared his apartment building in Tehran.
Chef Maurice boasts healthy, fresh meals with all natural ingredients. Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of the menu is the ability to get a delicious, three-course meal for only $8.95! (This offer is available every day from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) The dining room of Naan & Kabab etc. is cozy and friendly, and the staff hasn’t changed since it opened over one year ago.
Check it out for yourself at 2740 S. Virginia St. Reno, Nevada 89502 or take a virtual tour on their Web site.
Friday and Saturday nights you can enjoy a belly dancing show, and be sure to try their signature dessert, the “Awesome Dude Baklava”; a saffron ice cream with pistachios, vanilla, rose water and pieces of cream topped with baklava chunks.