Thursday, February 01, 2007

Maybe Not "The Best Middle Eastern food in town!"

Kabob 2: (Loop) Chicago
21 N. Wabash Avenue
(312) 781-9441

Bicycle Shopping.jpg
Why not ride your bicycle today?
Telling a family owned and operated restaurant that their falafel sandwich is too dry wasn't the easiest thing for me to do. The first time, I ate it up; their stiff and hearty pita bread allowed my mouth to deliver a rather consoling and satisfying hard tear. Instead of stuffing pita bread, they wrap a larger than usual pita around falafel, tahini, lettuce and tomato.

On my second visit, I asked specifically for my falafel not to be dry and to add extra tahini. My third visit almost didn't happen, but I like supporting local businesses and typically want to see them do well; and I think customer feedback can be an important part of the process. They're up against several Middle Eastern spots in the Loop, including the classic Oasis Cafe that used to be in their spot before moving one block south.

On my third visit, yesterday, I told them. I'd like a falafel sandwich, but I think you make them too dry; would you load it up so it's nice and wet? The man about to make my sandwich in the back answered back for the cashier: Just tell me what you want. I asked for it with hummus, hot sauce and extra tahini, plus the usual lettuce and tomato. The man told me that they usually just eat the falafel right out of the deep fryer. Just when I thought we might have a dialog about to go, I mentioned how Sultan's Market in Wicker Park makes their sandwiches with hummus and dripping wet Jerusalem salad by default, ensuring a pleasant moisture content. They didn't seem to know of the place; and they should if they're going to have their menu and outside sign declare, "The Best Middle Eastern food in town!"

My third falafel from Kabob 2 was quite tasty. The added hot sauce, hummus and extra tahini made it happen, but also made it messier than Sultan's, starting as I pulled out the long wrapped sandwich from its brown paper bag that they had folded into the shape of a long tube like you'd get from a deli. Still, very tasty.


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