Tandoor has a terrific garlicky hummus, as well as a number of soups and savory pies. For dessert there are custards as well as traditional pastries. The house baklava has a strong flavor of rosewater, cinnamon, and a hint of honey. Ground walnuts and almonds sit between the layers of sweet, but not sticky, phyllo. Bourma, another phyllo-based pastry, shaped like little logs, is sweeter and a bit lemony.

Tandoor also has several other breads for sale, including a pita as well as a samoon, which is like a puffier square of the flatbread. It recently began serving an Iraqi pizza — a prospect so intriguing it's worth saving for a separate review. Tandoor's small storefront/dining room is modest in appearance. There's not much effort of self-adornment, and Naser seems to relax through his work rather than in escape from it. The constant pat pat plop of the bread in his hands reminds you that persistence is the key to excellence.

Tandoor Bread and Restaurant | 845 R Forest Ave, Portland | Tues-Sun 8 am-9 pm | Visa/MC/Amex | 207.409.6605

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