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Restaurants & Bars 2

773 Chicago

Aaron D | May 13, 2002 10:38 AM

We finally got around to trying this little Mediterranean place on Irving Park that we pass every Sunday on our way back and forth to church.

Summary: Good, not great. Deserves a second chance but probably won't get one because my wife wasn't too keen on it.

We began with an appetizer of falafil (as they spelled it). I unfortunately have negligible experience with falafel, but I enjoyed it quite a bit, though it seemed it could have/should have been hotter. The pita bread with which they were served was a little on the chewy side, not as fresh as I would have liked.

Entrees come with soup or salad, and I got red lentil soup (the only one on the menu). I was surprised that there were no actual lentils in the soup--it was apparently made from a lentil broth--but it was delicous when the lemon served on the side had the juice squeezed in. And small and light enought that I was hungry when my Mountain Beef dinner came.

Chunks of beef, lots of green bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant, tomato all stewed in a blend of Mediterranean spices--really quite tasty--but not quite what I had ordered. The menu description promised artichokes and, hmmm, of a sudden I can't recall the other thing that did not appear. These two items were replaced by the zucchini and eggplant, of which the menu made no mention. I don't mind an occasional ingredient switch, but you should be warned when ordering.

And the same thing happened with my wife's dish--chicken in tomato sauce stuffed with spinach, carrots, and feta--minus the carrots and feta! Again what I tasted was good enough, but really disappointing when some key ingredients that we really wanted did not show up.

I suppose this is a service issue, to some degree. It's a small, strip mall place, and we were the only diners, but our waiter didn't seem to speak English so well, and so we didn't really want to ask about the missing ingredients.

The place itself was sort of charming but rather odd. Small as I said, with a very comfortable looking sort of sitting room where the window display would have been if it were a store rather than a restaurant. There were a couple couches and a coffee table. There was a bar, but all the bottles were empty and for display. They offered a Turkish red and white wine for $5.50 a glass that I couldn't bring myself to try.
Turkish CDs played throughout.

A space for live music was set up in one corner, but our server said they don't have anyone who currently plays. Most curiously, there were four televsions in this small space, including a big-screen opposite the music corner, and they all were tuned to HGTV.

Entrees were between 10 and 12 dollars.

There were no other customers during our trip (6:30 on a Thursday night)-server said weekends were busy.

Has anyone else ever been here? Did you find it odd? Did you get what you ordered? I'm inclined to agree that you go somewhere twice before passing final judgment, but with so many other places to try...does anyone know if this joint is worth another shot?

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