4639 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
Sun-Tzu said “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”. Using a similar logic, you usually have friends and then you have FRIENDS. These friends are those that will not hesitate to tell the blunt truth, knowingly that although it will hurt you, in the end, it is for your own good. On those lines, I have a really dear friend, FYZ. In fact, if I need a reality check, I can rely on her.
Unfortunately, we have not seen each other for close to a decade – until a couple of months that is, when she was travelling to Seattle and we agreed to meet each other. Now, don’t get me wrong, we did send/receive emails once in a while but still, that is not the same. She is currently living in Chicago and, since it was on my way from/to Merrillville, I knew we had to meet each other. Of course, since she lives in the area, it was up to her to choose the place… And here is where we went, Semiramis Restaurant.
Sorry for the fuzzy picture, it was COLD!
Now, in reality, FYZ (and her BF, WS) asked what I wanted to try. My initial reaction was “anything local/representative”. Oh, boy, that was a big mistake, as I soon found out Chicago is culturally diverse, probably more than Vancouver. Anyway, back to the food…
The first appetizers. The green one is obviously green olives; however, we were debating what was the red thing. It was tart and crunchy so we hypothesized it might be turnip or radish (marinated in a brine which gave that reddish colour). I was about to ask the waitress but, in the end, to keep the mystery, we decided not to, hehehehehe.
We had tabouleh. It was quite good, as it had an interesting balance of oily yet not too acidic. Also, it was not too watery, compared to others I have had.
We also had hummus. It was quite good; however, I wish it had a little bit of tahini (sesame paste).
As for the food…
Chicken Shawarma Special. I had a piece of this and I must say it was quite good! If I compare it to the one in Falafel King, this one is a lot better. It had red cabbage which gave it a crunchy texture. Also, the tahini gave it a really different, interesting twist (again, compared to the ones I have had here). We also ordered the Falafel special but, somehow, I do not have a picture of that one!
Mixed grill – beef and chicken kabob, lamb and beef kafta with rice and grilled vegetables. the different meats were quite well seasoned; unfortunately, I found the rice a bit too salty and the grilled vegetable… Well, just OK.
If I have to compare to other Middle Eastern/Lebanese restaurants here in Vancouver, this place is really good! Now, I must admit I have not visited that many Middle Eastern/Lebanese eateries here, so my comparison might be unfair. Having said that, if somebody has a suggestion of a good one, let me know and will update this entry accordingly!