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The best saganaki money can buy...

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The best saganaki money can buy...

Ed Fisher | Aug 21, 2003 04:32 AM

...at 2:30am on a wednesday night, within easy driving distance of Oak Park.

And also the worst.

Jedi Garden is in the vein of Omega ("microwaved, for your pleasure!") -- a 24-hour greek family joint. Saganaki, broiled steaks, "surf and turf", fried fish. It's at the corner of Harlem and Cermak, and seems to get a ton of the last-call crowd. There were at least 2 dozen people eating when I showed up, most of them my age (early 20s). Why they were awake that late on a wednesday, I will never know. Me, I work until 1. So there.

Anyway, after perusing the carry out menu (er, excuse me, according to the menu it's actually "cary out") I ordered a bacon cheeseburger and saganaki.

Saganaki: a little undercooked to my taste (I prefer it cooked enough that it can be cut with a fork), clearly kasseri (i'm a kefalograviera guy) but otherwise tasty. Served with two lemon wedges, which helped a lot, and their own greek bread, which was as much greek as american cheese is cheese. But it all worked out OK, and, frankly, at 2:30am, what do you expect?

Bacon cheeseburger was decent, and much improved when topped with honey dijon mustard. It had the same unidentifiable taste of the burgers at hamburger heaven in evanston and the harlo grill on north ave. Something in the meat, maybe (since until this I had thought it was a flavoring in the potentially off-brand ketchup).

The fries were prefab, and not very good prefab. Completely unsalted, as far as I could tell, but I doubt that would have helped them.

--

All in all, a mediocre meal for the money, even if it IS the best saganaki you can buy near Oak Park at 2:30am on a wednesday night. For the $5.50 price tag of the saganaki, I can buy a pound of kefalograviera at caputo cheese market and cook it myself. And it would likely be much better. The perils of laziness, though.

Still, if you have a late-night fix, it'll do. And heck, I'd rather the drunk people eat at Jedi than at White Castle.

-Ed

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