The Vietnamese have the banh mi, but Iran has something to contribute in the tasty bread and filling department too - Persian Sandwiches.
The Opal card now in place across trains in Sydney means we don't have to think about getting change for tickets, we can just jump on a choo choo and head across to somewhere else in Sydney. Over a long weekend we headed out on the train to Merrylands and went back again the next day.
Merrylands is a suburb we have been keen to explore for some time. We really didn't know what to expect - would there be Asian food, middle eastern, an old time pub? Is there food near the station or is it pushed further out? Getting off the train and heading down Merrylands Road turns out to be a grand food adventure.
Unlike a lot of suburban main streets that have been killed off by a the opening of a giant shopping centre nearby, there is a lot of life on a Saturday. Food always brings in people, especially people shut out of the usual same-same shopping malls.
Inside is new takeaway shop bright and clean, with a give away to the country of origin in the large pictures depicting Persepolis. Perhaps ancient Persian kings Darius or Xerxes had a hand in inventing this fast food while heading off to invade Greece.
Looking at the menu, Alison only has eyes (and stomach) for the Brain & Tongue sandwich. Sheep brain, sheep tongue, tomato, lettuce, pickle and a choice of sauce. The sheep offal with a tomatoey chilli sauce is a mix of tastes and flavours. The brain pieces are noticeable by their flabby fattiness, and the tongue gives a lamb like flavour to it all. This could be a little hard core offal for some but a pleasure for us fans.
Shawn goes for a mystery punt on the Bandari sausage. More like a frankfurter sausage without the red skin, it is sliced in with the salad ingredients.
A mortadella like meat is common in a Persian sandwich, here it is called salami in beef and chicken versions, and is available as a cold option.
A serve of crisp potato chips is available as a side, not surprising when we've had a chip topped dish before at Vatan in Auburn.
Aria also serves burgers and kababs, we'll be back to try some more after we make our way through some other of Merryland's offerings.
Aria Persian Fast Food is at 1/258 Merrylands Road, Merrylands. Ph: 8677 9508.