Southington food truck offers Persian Cuisine

Southington food truck offers Persian Cuisine... 21/11/2016 Cuisine

Keywords:#American, #Connecticut, #Cuisine, #Dariush, #Dariush_Golmohammadi, #Iran, #Jesse_Buchanan,, #Persian, #Persian_Cuisine, #Sam, #Saturday, #Southington, #Tehran, #Titanium, #Twitter, #University, #Western

Dariush Golmohammadi, chef, prepares a kebab dish in his Greenleaf Catering food truck parked at 447 N. Main St. in Southington, Friday, November 18, 2016. The business serves Persian stews, kebab and chicken dishes but also serves American favorites such as hamburgers. | Dave Zajac, Record-Journal

* * * November 20, 2016 10:30PM
By Jesse Buchanan Record-Journal staff
SOUTHINGTON — While living in Tehran, chef Dariush Golmohammadi ran one of the few restaurants serving Western dishes. Two months ago, he and his family opened up one of the few restaurants specializing in Persian cuisine in the state.
Kebobs are a top seller for Greenleaf Catering, which operates from a food truck at 447 N. Main St. In addition to ethnic cuisine such as Persian stews and chicken dishes, Greenleaf also offers American favorites such as hamburgers. It’s open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.
Dariush Golmohammadi works as the chef, assisted by his wife Marguerite. His son Sam, who majors in business at Central Connecticut State University, is the business manager. His son Daniel, also attending CCSU, helps with customer service and promotes the business on social media.
The family, who left Iran in 2010 and moved to Cheshire, found that their hometown didn’t have rules on food trucks and received a better welcome in Southington. Sam Golmohammadi said Economic Development Director Lou Perillo helped his family find a location and guided them through the regulation process.
The Golmohammadis are hoping to boost the catering side of their business and applied to become a vendor at Yale University.
Dariush Golmohammadi is particular about his ingredients to the point that he makes his own yogurt for his dishes.
“I can’t trust the ingredients here. Everything is artificial here, it’s not real,” he said.
Daniel Golmohammadi said Persian dishes aren’t heavy on spices and not as hot as some believe.
“That’s the biggest misconception,” he said.
They also use little oil and don’t fry their foods.
“We try to keep everything as healthy as possible,” Sam Golmohammadi said.
On Friday, the family made wraps and stews for customers shortly after noon. Patrons include mothers buying several dishes, each in a microwave safe container, for the week.
Denise Viglione-Rivera, owner of the building and Titanium event hall, said Golmohammadi was a good addition to the plaza as the only food vendor.
“It’s good to have Greenleaf Catering. It helps the customers during the day, maybe they’ll have some lunch,” Viglione-Rivera said.
She’s enjoyed Golmohammadi’s chicken dishes in particular and said Persian cuisine is different from almost anything available in town.
“It’s definitely going to taste a little different to many,” Viglione-Rivera said. “It’s definitely healthier.”
Sam Golmohammadi said the family explored starting a brick-and-mortar restaurant, but found financing difficult and overhead to be too expensive. Starting in a truck allowed them to focus on catering and can let them go to customers rather than wait for business, he said.
Perillo said flexibility is critical in business, particularly for restaurants just starting up. He was impressed with the Golmohammadi’s attention to detail and professionalism as they started Greenleaf.
“They did everything the right way,” Perillo said. “They had a vision and it emerged.” 203-317-2230 Twitter: @JBuchananRJ
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