Two of the most healthful and sensual food ingredients for me are good olive oil and lemons. They are my “go-to,” “gotta have ’em” food crushes. Yet, sadly, olive oil and lemons are under utilized in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants. As an Italian-American, this confounds me to no end. Thank goodness for Semiramis, a Lebanese restaurant in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood for having my back and understanding how to win my heart by not being shy with these all important ingredients!
Since I have been craving really delicious falafel for a few weeks now, I decided to hop the CTA Brown Line to Albany Park and treat myself to a delicious lunch at Semiramis. I believe it has been almost 2 years since I have been there with friends. YIKES! How could I let this happen? What was I thinking?
Aside from being a fabulous, 2014 Michelin Recommended Chicago restaurant, Semiramis is located directly across the street from the Kedzie “L’ stop on the CTA Brown Line. Bonus! As I have mentioned previously in this “Feeding Off The Rails Series,” I do not drive (by choice). So, I love to find great restaurants within 5 walking blocks of any CTA ‘L’ stop.
The menu at Semiramis is filled with all the expected Middle Eastern fare such as lentil soup, chawarmas, kabobs, tabbouleh, fattoush, falafel, lamb, beef, chicken, fish and more. Depending upon what you order, you will bring home some leftovers for the next day. Also, Semiramis is very affordable and it won’t brake your wallet. Here is how my lunch went down:
Joseph Abraham, the Chef and Owner of Semiramis, greeted me with a smile and very warm “welcome back” to his establishment. After contemplating the lamb kabob entree for more than a few minutes, I decided upon the vegetarian platter which provided me with the very best of all my favorites including, hummus, baba ghannouj, tabbouleh, falafel, dolmas and pita bread. What a fantastic choice! All of the items on my veggie platter are the best I have had in Chicago to date. Well worth the leisurely 35 minute ride on the ‘L’ while I caught up on some reading 🙂
Semiramis uses the freshest ingredients in all of its dishes which are made from scratch daily. The fantastic Turkish olive oil and lemon juice are plentiful, indeed! I do believe my skin already has a nice and shiner glow than it did before I arrived there 🙂 Yay!!
Even the thoughtful and flavorful bowl of marinated olives and pickled turnip sticks made me smile. They were equally delicious.
The space at Semiramis is very colorful and cozy. Colorful rugs, drapes and light fixtures adorn the room.
Oh! Another bonus is that Semiramis is a BYOB which I love. If you forget to bring your own libations, simply stop across the street at Foremost Liquors (Look for the yellow sign) before your meal.
Although I did not indulge in any dessert today (aka baklava or cookies, etc.), I did make certain to take a cup of Semiramis’ fabulous Arabic coffee with cardamom for my train ride home. It might be the best coffee I have had in an extremely long time. It really hit the spot on this unusually frigid autumn day in Chicago. No cream, no sugar needed 🙂 Just pure coffee bliss, as it should be!
Semiramis is located at 4639-41 N. Kedzie. To learn more, visit www.semiramisrestaurant.com.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Brown line to Semiramis. Save gas money. Avoid traffic and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!