Finally, a weekday breakfast place in Rockwell/Lincoln Square! Beans & Bagels was just like it says--coffee & pastries--until this winter, when it expanded and added a hot breakfast menu. Now there are the usual--pancakes, french toast, omelets, roasted herby potatoes. I had blueberry pancakes and potatoes and was well pleased with both. My friend had a very flavorful omelet.
Service is spotty, partly because breakfast is in a separate room and the staff is mostly busy at the coffee counter in the original space. Actually, it can be kind of spotty over there, too. Their bagels are very good--I think they get them from a Skokie bakery--but their coffee (Intelligentsia) is often burnt. I can't drink it without cream.
This Middle Eastern place has just opened up in what used to be Anatolian Kabob, and it seems to be taking the old retaurant's trappings and doing less with them. Much of the decor and fixtures are unchanged; even the bottles of olive oil and vinegar that come with the basket of bread are the same. The menu, however, is shorter and less interesting--just standard Middle Eastern favorites. Also poorly produced (the cover illustration has "clipart.com" super-imposed). The pita is of mediocre quality, though fresh. I had the falafel sandwich--the falafel themselves were quite tasty (though perhaps Anatolian K's recipe?), but they were so skimpy with the tahini sauce I had to ask for more. The waitress was polite and attentive. But I'm afraid I didn't have much competition for her attention--there was only one other person in there at 7:30 on a Wednesday. In short, this place is fine for a cheap Middle Eastern meal, but I was disappointed because if falls so far short of the restaurant it replaces.
It's closed!! Sadness.
Real neighborhood deli--the anti-Subway (which is next door). Enormous sandwiches (too big, really) of very good quality. Real bagels--no fluffy imitations here. Generous variety of sides come with the sandwich. Also good: large, design-your-own salads. And there's a discount for people who work in the neighborhood. Proprietor is, well, a character. And he may look for the quirky when hiring, too. Definitely recommended.
Food was excellent. Especially enjoyed the olive appetizer and the creme brulee dessert. I was disappointed there weren't any strictly vegetarian options. I eat seafood sometimes, so I went for that, but a restaurant this good should always have at least one vegan entree. Service was kind of weird. We alternately had a new waitress who was spacey and fairly clueless (but ok, new), and a French-speaking waitress who was quite good. Not clear on why we had 2 waitresses. Maybe all of this had to do with how late it was. Somehow we didn't leave till midnight--dinner must have taken 3 hours! Overall, very, very good dinner.
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I stopped in for a BLT sandwich and lemonade. Nothing at all original or unusual about the preparation, but quite simply the most perfect BLT and lemonade you could possibly wish for.
All together average, family Greek fare. But generous portions, pretty quick service, comfortable, reasonable prices *and* (this was the best part) the orange juice is fresh squeezed, for the frozen-concentrate price!