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Pomegranate Kitchen

Posted by TIF 20 Feb 2011 7 Comments

In the year and a half since I moved to Durham, the restaurant scene has gone from barely acknowledging the word vegetarian to offering delicious vegetarian options on most menus. Still, if Durhamites wanted a completely vegetarian menu, they had to travel to other points in the Triangle to get it. That was until Pomegranate Kitchen—Durham’s first all vegetarian restaurant.

Located on a service road parallel to 15-501 (near the New Hope Commons shopping center), this take-out and cash-only (there’s an ATM at Walmart) restaurant is still in its infancy. The décor, the signage, the outdoor courtyard are minimal. The food however, is anything but minimal, offering complex spices, texture, and aromas.

When I walked in, I was greeted by Mally and Mitra, with Mally immediately offering me tastes of the tamarind and bulgur soups. Both were delicious—in different ways. Admittedly, I was nervous because tamarind is so sour and pungent, but to my surprise, the soup was just wonderful. The tamarind did not overpower at all. The bulgur soup was hearty and filling, like a good soup should be.

In the end, I went with the fesenjoon—a classic Persian stew made with pomegranates and walnuts. I’ve had fesenjoon at two other restaurants in the Triangle and was underwhelmed each time. The fesenjoon at Pomegranate Kitchen was light years better than both of the other two that I’ve had. The flavor was mellow and harmonious, the texture went nicely with saffron basmati rice, and the seasoning was perfect—no salt or pepper needed.

The fesenjoon with basmati rice was $11.95. According to the menu, the meal comes with a slice of baked bread and chocolate—which I thought was a bit misleading. With the meal, you get ¼ of a piece of pita bread (not a whole piece of pita) and one Hershey’s miniature candy bar. I would have preferred a $7.95 price tag for the portions, and I would have passed on the pita and chocolate. Notwithstanding the price, I plan go back to Pomegranate Kitchen. The menu changes weekly, depending on what’s at the farmers market, and the outdoor courtyard was pretty endearing.

Pomegranate Kitchen (website)
5504 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd, Suite 102
Durham, NC 27707


  • babeshka said:

    Thanks. Sounds like a place worth trying. It’s nice to have more vegetarian places to choose from in Durham.


  • Franco said:

    Great write up.
    Thanks for sharing this well written and detailed description of this place. I could almost smell and taste the food with each description I read. :)


  • mominchapelhill said:

    I am so glad you wrote about this! I have been driving by it wondering….Thanks!


  • Beth T said:

    I had Pomegranate Kitchen for the second time last night and it was just as tasty as I remembered. The fesenjoon is divine! As the review mentioned, it’s a little pricy, but the portions are generous, the quality top notch, and the owners extremely amiable.
    I’m already planning my next visit!


  • Sarah said:

    Tried Pom Kitchen this past week. I’ve eaten a lot of Persian food, and the fesenjun and jewel rice were both up there in my top 10 meals. As others have mentioned, the price is a bit steep for lunch, but I easily got two meals for me and one for my small son out of one combo. Can’t wait to go back and try some of the other offerings.


  • KennyL said:

    I think Pom Kitchen is terrific, and I get takeout from there all the time. It isn’t as cheap as some other takeout restaurants, but the food is chock full of fresh vegetables, and it’s a convenient place to get a delicious, healthy meal. Give it a try.


  • JBlink said:

    I’ve gotten takeout from Pomegranate Kitchen about 3-4 times. I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve gotten there (with the exception of the shooli [beets] — too beety for me!)

    I personally like the flavored rices with stew (like the pomegranate fesenjan) instead of plain basmati with a stew. Had a cold grilled vegetable dish today that was fantastic.

    I hope more people hear about them–their location is not great but their food is so unique and so good!


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