Another quick post but for a location deserving of much more. I would have grabbed more pictures, but I think I was too distracted by the anticipation of food this time. Saffron is the creation of the same guys behind World Street Kitchen, the subject of a different post. While they opened early 2007, and it had long been on my list of places to try, I didn’t make it there until late 2013 after some prodding by fellow foodies I trust.
Located on the southern end of North Loop, right by 112 Eatery, the restaurant has the exposed brick and vaulted ceilings of the formerly named Warehouse District. Dark lighting set the mood for dinner in the evening, though maybe a little too dark for my taste, and it was also very loud when we went. However, I would describe the atmosphere as classy, if lively.
On the strong recommendation of the server, I had the Middle Eastern sausage to start, and since Saffron is the only restaurant I know that serves up tagine in the TC, I had to give that a try, too. Here are the menu descriptions:
- Middle Eastern Sausage (Na’anik) – house made beef/lamb/pine nut sausage with lemon
- Lamb Shoulder Tagine – with summer squash & beans, fingerling potatoes, roasted tomatoes and green charmoula broth
The na’anik were definitely as delicious as the server suggested, so props to her on guiding me away from my typical go-to of meatballs (kofta), not that sausage is very far off. The tagine (pictured below) was beyond words full of umami and tenderness. I’m pretty sure the meat disintegrated under the slightest probe with my fork. I am definitely sensitive to some textures, but even though the meat was more than just marbled, the preparation was perfect for it, taking advantage of the added flavor.
Certainly not cheap. The small order of tagine I had was about $30, which was mostly in line with the other entrees. However, you can’t get this quality of Mediterranean cuisine anywhere else nearby, so it’s well worth a visit. Cheers!