alexgillen | Chicago Reader

Recent Reviews

This is a new restaurant in downtown Evanston, part of a small chain. Most of the other locations listed on the menu were in Ohio. They claim to "specialize in exotic vegetarian dishes," which means they serve standard Middle Eastern fare, and they actually have quite a few meat dishes as well.

I had the lentil soup as an appetizer and the Falaffel Rolled as my entree (they use the German spelling of "falafel"), and my companion had the same falafel and the V-Nine soup (which stands for nine vegetable soup).

We had a very awkward moment with our waiter when my companion asked if he could have a Hummos Falaffel Rolled with baba ganoush   instead of hummos. He left to find out, and the hostess came to our table to explain that the "Baba" doesn't taste good with the "Falaffel." My companion was a bit taken aback by the insulting attitude. At no point did she say "I'm sorry, we cannot do that," but instead continued to insist that it wouldn't taste good. Yet the menu encourages customer suggestions.

From then on our interactions with the waiter were awkward on his end, as he was overly enthusiastic. ("It's good, isn't it?!!!")

Our soups arrived at the same time as our entrees.

My lentil soup was average. It was a large serving, with lentils and chunks of potato and celery in a bland thin broth. Not the small cup of thick lentil soup I was expecting.

And my falafel was in a foil/paper wrap on my plate (the type usually seen around takeout hamburgers). The pita was paper thin, more like a tortilla, and the sandwich was small and sparing on the tomato and tahini, which made it very dry.

During dinner we heard a new age instrumental of Peter Gabriel's "Mercy Street." (All the music played was instrumental covers, so we started to play "name that song.")

Basically, this is Americanized Middle Eastern takeout food presented in a sit down restaurant.

Posted by Alessandra Gillen on 09/08/2003 at 12:34 PM

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