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Dine with Charlie Chaplin at Moustache Cafe

Kebab platter at Morrisville's Moustache Cafe.
annie chen

Moustache Cafe


You might not realize that Moustache Café, at first inspection, is open on a Saturday night. The “Quiznos Subs” logo still bleeds through the teal green awning above the front entrance in the desolate strip mall location next to the now defunct Morrisville Outlet Mall. But look closer and you will quickly gather that Moustache Cafe is open and a charming home to some of the Triangle’s best Persian fare.

Sit down at the table of your choice and you will soon glance over the menu—an array of traditional Persian fare, including kebabs, sandwiches and an assortment of stews—but your server, like ours, might direct your attention towards the night's special: a dinner platter for two that includes an appetizer, a trio of kebabs (filet mignon, chicken, and koobideh (seasoned ground chuck), two beverages (wine and beer included as choices), rice and grilled tomatoes, two sides and dessert for $35.

And while you are patiently awaiting your dinner, you might glance around at the whimsical décor that adorns the walls at Moustache Café. Framed photographs of celebrity mustachioed-countenances hang around the dining room, ranging from the likes of Sam Elliot to Charlie Chaplin. The pictorial tribute to the strip of facial hair is no silly coincidence—the mustache in many Middle Eastern cultures is prized, revered and is often a symbol of virility and wisdom.

The roasted garlic and pepper hummus, savory and creamy, is a promising start, but, accompanied by several points of pita, possibly not as fresh and pliable as they could be, crumple with only a smear of hummus.

The glistening trio of seasoned grilled kebabs arrives to the table, commanding all attention, to sweep away any lasting memory of the aforementioned hummus. Moustache Café proudly serves fresh, cage-free organic meats and the quality shows in the finished product. The seasoned chicken (joojeh) is juicy and each subsequent bite of the filet mignon is meltingly tender (barg). Dunking a chunk of the koobideh into the cooling yogurt-based garlic dip proves to be an ethereal experience, a wonderful juxtaposition of the zesty, sumac-tinged flavor with the buttery savoriness of the flame-broiled kebab. Drifts of fluffy, saffron-topped basmati rice with grilled tomatoes and a tangy cucumber salad round out the Persian feast.

Skip the dessert if you do not wish to be disappointed. An order of the tiramisu is not up to snuff, too dense and flavorless to even muster finishing, and perhaps not quite the appropriate choice for a Persian restaurant.

Service is attentive and friendly, but not intrusive. In addition to the dinner specials, Moustache Café offers a daily special and features a daily soup special as well.

Moustache Café | 108-A Factory Shops Road | Morrisville, NC 27560 |

919.650.3014 | Open Monday –Friday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. (open until 10 p.m. on Friday)

Sat.: 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

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