NJ Dining: Honey

April 6, 2011

Honey Mediterranean Gourmet & Market
1150 Teaneck Road, Teaneck NJ
(201) 530-5083

Restaurants sometimes have good reasons for calling themselves something they are not. In the case of Honey in Teaneck, it’s because that marketing is often more effective than full-monty disclosure. Which is very, very sad, because I think Honey is one of the most interesting ethnic restaurants to open in our area in a very long time.

Why the deception? Honey’s cuisine is Persian — which originates from the country that in the modern day is called Iran.

While the restaurant bills itself as Mediterranean, modern day Iran is nowhere near the Mediterranean Sea. Iran borders the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf, and cuisine-wise bears only a passing resemblance to most Mediterranean food.

Sure, Persia once controlled the territory which is now modern day Turkey, which does border the Mediterranean, but that was between 550 and 330 BCE , when the Achaemenid Empire controlled most of the civilized world.

The history of Persia is complex and one of the most fascinating in ancient history. Its cuisine is unique, delicious, and exotic. And in this part of Northern New Jersey we’ve had the unfortunate situation of previous Persian restaurants failing, such as Shiraz in Edgewater.

Up until Honey’s opening, we’ve only had access to Afghani food at the very excellent  Teaneck Kebab HousePamir in Morristown and Kabab Paradise in Lake Hiawatha. While sharing a similar cultural history as well as a similar language with Iran, Afghan food is very different in terms of their cuisine. Aside from Honey, Negeen in Summit is one of the few other legit Persian restaurants in the area.

[Editor’s Note: Shahrzad in Edgewater, which took over Shiraz’s space, also opened in June of 2010, after this post was originally written]

Like other Muslims residing in this country Iranian-Americans are often the unfortunate recipients of bad behavior and harassment from ignorant people who vandalize restaurants and businesses as a result of misdirected anger and hatred.

Because of this Persian cuisine in this part of the country frequently goes unappreciated. Los Angeles by comparison has a thriving Persian community, but in New Jersey not so much.

Teaneck just got its Persian on. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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