Unlike many of our fellow Americans we do not have an anti-immigrant bias. On the contrary, Joel and I grew up in a culturally diverse city—San Diego, California. We revel in the differences: culture, language and especially food. Tonight was something new for us—Persian & Arabic cuisine. It was absolutely fabulous to say the least.
In Perth, Scotland we sampled and fell in love with our first Indian food and we’re hooked. We continued that love affair in Edinburgh. Now in Leeds, England we tried our first Persian (Iranian) and Arabic food and again we’ve fallen in love. Many Americans complain about the growing immigrant population in the USA—shame on you.
Based on empirical evidence I think the immigrant population per capita in Europe (especially in the United Kingdom) is even bigger. Neither one of us subscribes to the idea that Islamic terrorism defines an entire culture, just like the KKK doesn’t define the whole of American people. If you feel otherwise then we have no basis for any kind of meaningful dialogue—that’s just the way it is. To segregate yourself from other cultures is to simply wallow in bigoted ignorance. End of mini-rant.
We visited Safran Restaurant a few blocks from our hotel to get our first taste of Middle Eastern food. Wow. I had lamb and chicken Kebobs (aka Kabobs) with rice, salad and bread and Joel opted for the chicken Kebobs with rice, salad and bread. As a nice concession to non-Muslim patrons they also served beer (bottled & draft) and we each had a pint of Cobra draft (an excellent beer from India). Everything arrived in a timely manner, was very fresh and cooked to perfection. The service was good without being intrusive and the prices were fair (the entire meal including beer cost us £33).
We have another 10-days in Leeds before travelling to Wales so we will definitely go back to the Safran Restaurant. If you have never experienced Middle Eastern food I would invite you to try it. In fact I would invite you to broaden your experiences when and wherever you can—ignorance serves no good purpose and educational and experiential growth is a real plus in both life and living (two different aspects of existence—just breathing isn’t necessarily living). One of the best parts of travelling is experiencing new food. If your city or town has great cultural diversity you have no excuse. Go forth and explore.