Saturday night I finally got to Baladi, one of the "Arab-American restaurants" listed in Ray Hanania's round-up, which Rene G led me to last spring. The room is hot dog stand-bare except for framed posters of Palestine. The Jerusalem salad was not crisp, perhaps because I ordered it within 40 minutes of closing. The chicken shawerma sandwich was one of those terrific sandwiches I don't set down between first and last bite because the filling might fall out and because it's so good. Baladi, 7209 W. 84th St. in the 84th St. Plaza on the SW corner of Harlem and 84th St., Bridgeview, 708-233-1025. M-Sat, 10a-10p, Sun 10a-8p.
Driving away northbound, I saw within a few blocks Donnajec, a Polish bakery-deli, and Duke's, which looks like an authentic drive-in, replete with a David Berg hot dogs decal. Imagine eating one's way the length of Harlem, from the Italian places up north to the Mexican places around Cermak to the aforementioned places further south.