Food & Drink

The Iraqi food you've loved since childhood

Published On 02/06/2012 Published On 02/06/2012

Some people in Portland dislike war so much that they feel the need to stage massive protests, which is totally weird because that "Low Rider" song is awesome! For food brought to PDX because of that other kind of less danceable war, get to Dar Salam.

From a gent who left Iraq in 2007 because of, like, war and stuff, only to land in PDX and start a food cart, Dar Salam finds him going brick and mortar-ish on Alberta with a cushioned/ curtained dining room oasis featuring a museum's worth of non-war-torn Iraq photos, amongst which you can enjoy homestyle Iraqi cuisine stewed up in an adjacent mobile kitchen that Bryan Cranston may or may not also be working in. Grab beef or lamb shawarma marinated in a garlic yogurt sauce before being slow-cooked and shredded, a savory lentil stew w/ cumin, cardamom, tomato, onion, and a bit of lime, plus smaller delicacies like dolmas that stuff onions w/ pomegranate/ sun-dried tomato, and sweet walnut-stuffed dates, or how to describe a very positive outing with a nice squirrel you met on eHarmony. While the focus's smack between the Tigris and Euphrates, Salam also offers more familiar Middle Eastern eats like flatbread falafel sandos, kebabs w/ tender grilled chicken between onion & tomato, and awesomely flakey Baklava, not to be confused with the awesomely flakey Bakula from the episode where he leaped into a box of Kellogg’s cereal.

Because everyone knows that a traditional Iraqi meal goes best with some live music, they’ll be rolling that out on weekend nights in the near future, along with beer and wine, which the dude from War will only spill, before apologizing and asking why you can’t just be friends.

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1. Dar Salam 2921 NE Alberta, Portland, OR 97211 (Alberta Arts Dist)

From food cart to a brick and mortar establishment, Dar Salam serves traditional Iraqi cuisine as well as Middle Eastern favorites like falafel sandwiches and grilled chicken kebabs.

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