Support our mission
 
Sambose filled with potato and a Persian spice blend delivered by Termeh in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The restaurant also includes a spicy red sauce best enjoyed in small doses.
Sambose filled with potato and a Persian spice blend delivered by Termeh in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The restaurant also includes a spicy red sauce best enjoyed in small doses. (Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)
Sambose filled with potato and a Persian spice blend delivered by Termeh in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The restaurant also includes a spicy red sauce best enjoyed in small doses.
Sambose filled with potato and a Persian spice blend delivered by Termeh in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The restaurant also includes a spicy red sauce best enjoyed in small doses. (Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)
The smoky eggplant with saffron basmati rice delivered by Termeh in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The Persian restaurant has become one of the better delivery options in the city since the pandemic began.
The smoky eggplant with saffron basmati rice delivered by Termeh in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The Persian restaurant has become one of the better delivery options in the city since the pandemic began. (Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)
The chicken and minced lamb kebab plate from Termeh Persian Restaurant in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Diner alert: the pepper on the side brings a lot of heat when you reach the seeds.
The chicken and minced lamb kebab plate from Termeh Persian Restaurant in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Diner alert: the pepper on the side brings a lot of heat when you reach the seeds. (Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

I turned to Termeh Persian Restaurant mostly out of delivery food-induced desperation.

The expanding number of restaurants delivering in Kaiserslautern as a result of the pandemic hasn’t done much for variety. With some exceptions, this is still mostly a pizza, pasta and burger town if you want dinner to arrive at your door. The Greek food I ordered one weekend to break up the monotony could have just as easily been substituted for a salt lick and a side of raw onions.

This set the bar pretty low for Termeh. To make sure my positive first impressions weren’t just a reaction to the absence of heartburn, I’ve ordered from them four more times.

Termeh turns out to be one of the best options in the area.

Persian food shouldn’t be too much of a culinary stretch for the uninitiated American. Ask someone of Iranian ancestry what’s popular, and they’ll probably answer something like “rice and meat.” It’s a deceptively simple answer because of the complexity behind so many of the dishes.

Rice is as central to the food and culture as it is to Japan, though the grains are very different from the sticky East Asian varieties. Persian steamed rice, or chelo, is long-grained and goes through something akin to ritual washing when prepared right. It’s often topped with yellow saffron, which Termeh does extravagantly.

The meat comes mainly as kebabs and braised stews at Termeh. The mixed kebab plate’s chicken breast has a citrusy tang to it, while the minced lamb that comes with it tends toward garlic, onion and blended spices. The grilled pepper on the side starts relatively mild at the bottom, then works its way up north of habanero heat when you start reaching the seeds. I recommend ordering a side of mast khiar, plain yogurt mixed with cucumbers, to cool things down and to use for dipping.

As for the stews, the fried chicken in pomegranate sauce with crushed walnuts is a fun change of pace, but it was too much sweetness for me as a main course. It’s a good few spoonfuls if you’re eating family style, which Persian food seems made for. Termeh’s appetizers, including its sambose, beg for sharing. The fried pockets of potato and herbs will seem familiar to lovers of Indian samosas, while remaining just different enough for variety’s sake.

The best appetizer, which also comes as a meal, is the grilled and smoked eggplant. It’s blended with eggs and braised tomatoes, accompanied with flatbread and a spicy red sauce that I keep on hand for several days as a hot sauce substitute. I drizzled a little on some of our next-day leftover kebabs, which imparted their flavors on the rice as well. It beat next-day pizza handily.

Termeh had dinner for four ready in about 30 minutes for takeout and also delivered across town in less than an hour. While the food held up pretty well in transport, I’m eager to try it out in person at the restaurant, located on Einsiedlerhof’s main drag where an Italian restaurant once operated. Delivery is great, but good Persian food deserves a big restaurant table, a group of friends and lots of time to enjoy.

slavin.erik@stripes.com Twitter: @eslavin_stripes

Location: Kaiserstrasse 10, Kaiserslautern, 67657, about a mile from the Pulaski Barracks gate.

Hours: Tuesday — Saturday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.; pandemic hours may vary.

Dress: Casual

English menu: Yes

Prices: Appetizers and sides, 4-6 euros; main courses, 11 to 18 euros.

Information: termehfood.com; email info@termehfood.com; Phone: 0631-9841-0119; also available at lieferando.de.

Migrated

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up