Bites Nearby: Roksana

A new take-out grill and deli on Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown specializes in kababs and other Iranian fare.

Just opened last week, Roksana, at 133 Mt. Auburn St. in East Watertown, offers a variety of Persian kababs, boxed with either rice or homemade naan, and cool side dishes such as a creamy yogurt, mint and garlic dip and stuffed grape leaves. The kababs can be beef, marinated with walnuts, pomegranate juice and other spices; chicken, lamb, fish, or eggplant. The eggplant is cooked first by barbequing rather than boiling. "It's harder to do right, but it tastes better," says co-owner Ala Tolouei. 

Suggested dish: We ordered the chicken kabab with naan ($7) and two side orders: a yogurt, mint and garlic spread ($2.25) and vegetarian stuffed grape leaves ($2.50). The chicken was grilled in front of us, yellowy with saffron. It was mild and the naan was plain but fresh. A bit more spice in both might have made them even better. The two side dishes almost stole the show: they were rich and flavorful.

The vibe: Spotless and eager to please, since they just opened.

Cool factor no. 1: They're still experimenting with their menu and feedback is welcome.

Cool factor no. 2: A baker rolls out the naan on a counter at the front window.


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