Love that Lebanese!
- Bryan May 11, 2000 07:56 AM
Forget every place else. Saturday night we were driving around and a middle eastern craving hit us like a ton of kebabs. Instead of going to one of the standard places in Andersonville - we went to a little storefront across from the Olive Tree on Foster near Clark. Before I even tasted it I knew it was going to be good because I ordered tabouli and the propieter said it would take a few minutes. That's when I saw him bring out the scallions and tomatoes - he was making it fresh, on-the-spot! (I normally don't use exclamation points but wow). The falafel tasted simply of itself - not oily nor of the oil it had been fried in. Rather than using the pocket pita he used large loaves and wrapped it up like a burrito. The tabouli was next to sex and the hummous was delicious. Two sandwiches, humous and the salad for 11 bucks. Run, do not walk, but you'll have to get out of my way first.
I must highly recommend Maza, a Lebanese place on N. Lincoln, the 2800 block I think. We went to it on a Thursday at about 9pm (they're open until 11) and it was very slow so we got attentive service. We ordered the Maza Deluxe which is an appetizer combo--when it arrived at the table we realized that it was literally one of each appetizer on the menu. Huge! Enough for 3 people to make a hearty meal. There were only two of us so lucky me got to eat it for lunch the next day too. Everything was tasty, but the stand outs were the lamb sausages, the labnah, which is a yogourt dish, the lamb kibbe, and the cheese and spinach pies. The only problem about getting the appetizer platter was that we didn't get to taste any of the main courses, which looked wonderful. The appetizer platter was $30, so it was a great deal all around. Also since it was our first time there, they gave us a complimentary dessert sampler--I'm not normally a big fan of middle eastern deserts, but their baklava was not as sickly sweet as greek baklava, and there was some desert involving figs that was delicately flavored and a nice texture. Yum!
If the place you're talking about is "Taste of Lebanon," on Foster just west of Clark, they also have by far the best falafel sandwich this side of the Atlantic: make sure you ask for it with hot chili peppers thrown in, which is the way falafel sandwiches are eaten in Beirut. Also be sure he makes it fresh--which he does 90 percent of the time anyway.