I had lunch at Salam last week and as I was walking in the door one of the guys was putting up a small window sign in Arabic. When I inquired as to the nature of the sign, he said "cab".....cab? Turns out cab was small cabbage cigars rolled around rice and ground beef, which he kindly brought me a good sized free sample of as soon as I sat down. The mini cabbage rolls were delicious, but I was in the mood for Salam's kafta kabab platter, substitute hummus for rice please.
The kafta kabab platter, $7.99, is really too much for lunch, but so darn delicious, grilled juicy sausage dusted with sumac, topped with a few slices of red onion and (out of season) tomato. The hummus is on the plate with the kafta, meat juices flowing into the chick-pea/olive oil goodness of the hummus. With the included salad of diced tomato and cucumber, pita, olives, beet colored pickled turnips and the spicy jalapeno based hot sauce and you have a heck of a meal.
As I was leaving I inquired as to the rest of the week's daily specials:
Monday is upside down rice, which I understand is an inverted mix of rice, lamb, cauliflower, potato and various vegetables. I mentioned upside down rice to The Mayor of Chicago Chowhound, Vital Information, and he seemed quite familiar with the dish, hopefully he will chime in with a more accurate description.
Tuesday is stuffed grape leaves
Wednesday is stuffed lamb
Thursday is small rolls of rice and meat stuffed cabbage
Friday is soup with lamb and rice on the side.
Saturday the daily special changes, but he seemed to imply the Saturday special was a bit more 'special' than the rest of the week.
All the daily specials come with pita, olives, pickled turnip and salad.
Speaking of falafil, I would venture to say that Salam's is the best in Chicago, freshly made, with a subtle spice component and only .18c per. By the way, yes, I have had Oasis falafil, in the back of the Wabash Jeweler's mart, and they are good, though IMHO, Salam's falafil is the clear winner.
4636 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
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