- Mike Sula
- Best Naan’s barbari
In the UK, Amir Parsa was a chemical engineer researching the fabrication of printed circuit boards, and in Iran he had his own chemical manufacturing company. But when he moved to the U.S. seven years ago he could find no work in his field. So he went back to Tehran to study baking, and in eight months he’d mastered 20 different varieties of Persian bread. Two years ago he installed himself in the tiny space that once housed the beloved Bhabi’s Kitchen just south of Devon, and opened Best Naan, specializing not in the popular Indo-Pak flatbread served up and down the street, but Persian nan-e barbari, a long, furrowed, oval-shaped flatbread, also known as Tabriz bread for the city from which it came.
The sesame-studded leavened bread served with hard goat cheese is part of the typical Persian breakfast, but it’s terrifically versatile, with the ability to stand up to both the grill and the freezer. Parsa also makes a garlic version of the barbari that you can smell through its plastic bag, as well as a whole wheat variety similar to another iconic Iranian bread known as nan-e sangak—though he doesn’t have the particular stone oven required to make the exact, triangle-shaped ideal. He’d like to branch out and start baking the other breads in his repertoire—and pizzas in the storefront—but right now he’s a one-man operation and doesn’t have the support. If you want to get his breads hot from the oven, show up between 9 and 10 AM. After that he’s out delivering to stores such as Fresh Farms until about 1:30, when he reopens the store until 6.