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Chicago Area Mediterranean

Shish Cafe-Mediterranean?-Carol Stream

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Shish Cafe-Mediterranean?-Carol Stream

tony | Dec 21, 2002 09:33 PM

Did you ever notice places you like to eat have owners/managers who make you feel comfortable and welcome? Maybe I should clarify that. Place you like to eat that have quality food made with care. Now there are places that have well intentioned friendly owners who can't cook their way out of a wet paper bag. And they don't last. If you go out to eat enough or if you've worked in a restaurant, after a while you get a feel for who has their shit together and who doesn't.

This restaurant is in Carol Stream bordering on Glendale Heights, which as pointed out to me by zim via an article from an Asian American online magazine, has an extremely diverse population. I felt sort of embarrased at how excited I got noticing 3 different Pho shops, a Pakastani restaurant and about 4 different taquerias driving north from Wheaton to Bloomingdale. But I digress...

I ordered a Chicken Shawarma sandwich and the wife got a Falafel and Hoummos plate. Damn, what a sandwich! The chicken was nicely yellowed with spice, bright with lemony zing and cooked to the point where you taste carmelized char and not burned meat ash. The thing this guy got right and what some other places that serve pita sandwiches don't fully understand, is proportion. I like lettuce, but too much can ruin a sandwich. The lettuce, tomato and onions were bathed in a nice layer of garlicky hoummos. On a side table were little pickled peppers which were quite good and salty, an excellent tomato/garlic hot sauce and a squeze bottle of tahini cut with yogurt and lemon. All of this together made for a great sandwich with layers of flavor.

The wife was equally excited by her combo plate. The falafel were crunchy and moist with a good mix of parsley and cilantro. A healthy portion of hoummos came with a nice pool of olive oil in the middle along with a salad of iceburg, green pepper, tomato, white onion and cucumbers dressed with a yogurt cucumber dressing. Fresh hot pitas and a few nice slices of large pink pickled radish pushed it over the edge. Just about any properly pickled vegetable makes me happy.

We finished it all off with a little glass of turkish coffee and a hearty goodbye and thank you from the proprieter. The menu has a well rounded selection of 9 salads including a Turkish, a Greek, a Fattoush and the carnivore favorite, the Meat Salad. The shish, chicken, and beef kabobs along with the chicken and meat shawarmas are served as meals with rice and a choice of salads or as a simple pita . Fresh squeezed fruit juices are also available.

Or, for a little more money, you could go to the Subway next door and have a pressed turkey sub slathered with apathy and sprinkled with indifference.

Shish Cafe
161 S. Schmale Rd.
Carol Stream, Il
630-668-6663

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