Loop Middle Eastern
I beleive I've tried all of the usual suspects:
1) Haifa, which kindof sucks but works
2) Petra, which is a little far away from my office but I thought it was better than Haifa
3) Taza, which is a new place on Franklin that I personally love
Are there any other places out there worth checking out? I'm located a approx. Washington and Frankin.
Both are a quick cab ride from Washington and Franklin.
Kan Zamman at 617 N. Wells serves very good Lebanese Food.
Reza's at 432 W. Ontario for tasty Persian Food has a great lunch and weekend buffet.
One of my favorite middle eastern restaurants is RAW BAR AT 3720 N. Clark street in Wrigleyville. The menu is extensive and fantastic. Great steak, seafood, chicken, appetizers, martini's, etc. This place is a hidden gem and way underrated.
I agree with your thoughts on Haifa/Petra. I resort to one of those two about once a month. Never great, but they're OK for a cheap lunch.
I'm a fan of Kan Zaman. Its a sit down restaurant - unlike Haifa, Petra, etc. Pricier, but still very reasonable and the quality is much better than those two. I've been there several times for dinner. BYO if you ever want to check it out after work (there's a Binny's about a block away). The veggie platter is my standby.
On a related note, Tizi Meloul (sp?) is an interesting and quite good western/middle-eastern fusion restaurant a couple doors down from Kan Zaman. Great decor. Higher end than Kan Zaman, and I don't know if they serve lunch, but it would be an interesting place to visit if you like middle eastern food and want to try something different.
I agree with you on taza it is very good - but IMHO the best Middle Eastern restarunt in the Loop is Oasis Cafe - it used to be in the Wabash jewllers mall - is is now at 17 S Wabash - just a block south from its old location - it is better than taza - and only about a 10 minute leisurely walk from where you are at (I am at Randolph and Franklin)
check out for more info:
Last week (I have been a steady customer for fifteen years) I had the buffet lunch at Reza's and found it to be awful---really deteriorated from the way it used to be. Fewer dishes were offered---I would say 30% fewer than formerly. The buffet used to include solid meat (beef on kebabs) and not just ground beef. There were several pasta dishes and more salads. Last week the "grilled potatoes" appeared to have been grilled about a week earlier and the lentil soup appeared not to have been salted at all. This was my third-in-a-row bad Reza's buffet experience and I have now regretfully crossed an old favorite off my lunch list. Will look forward to trying some of the other suggestions in this thread. Too bad we can't move the Loop to, say, Kedzie and Lawrence.
I'm sorry to have to agree with Querencia - we've been to both Reza location in the past few months - and both experiences disappointed - which is saying a lot since over the years we have gradually lowered our expectations to begin with.
It's a shame because we used really look forward to eating at Reza's. It's still "not bad" - but it's almost as if someone in charge kind of stopped "caring."