Happy Moody Monday! Today’s mood = Mediterranean.
I’m often asked which type of cuisine is my favorite. That’s a tough question to answer, since food is my “porn.” However, the “gun to my head” reply would be Mediterranean. One of the very best spots in Chicago to get your fix of falafel and more is at Zaytune Mediterranean Grill. It has been a favorite mine for the last several years.
Zaytune is located 8 blocks south and
3 blocks west of the Halsted ‘L’ stop, along the CTA Orange Line. Not up for that long of a walk? No worries. The #8 Halsted bus will take you to 32st. From there, just walk the 3 blocks west. Don’t be lazy!
Upon approaching Zaytune, you can smell the fresh ingredients wafting onto the sidewalk. Lemon. Fresh herbs. Grilled meats and shrimp. Olive oil. Honestly, I cannot think of lovelier scents.
Quick lesson: “Zaytune” means “olive” in Arabic.
The fabulous team at this Bridgeport staple, is pouring love into all of the house made items on the menu. The falafel here is top-notch! Whether you’re craving braised lamb, chicken, shawarma, steak or shrimp, Zaytune has got you covered. In fact, you can choose the form in which you would like your protein presented. A salad bowl, a platter with basmati rice and grilled veggies or the highly recommended wraps are sure to do the trick.
Here’s how my lunch went down:
Since I am trying to watch my waistline this week, I decided to forgo my usual falafel wrap. Believe me when I say that was no easy task because the falafel is so moist and the bread is soft and delightful.
That said, I held steady and began with a cup of lentil soup.
You might not think this is a big deal but you would be wrong. I love lentil soup, especially when it is as fantastic and fresh as this one from Zaytune. The lentils were al dente. The celery, carrots and parsley were crunchy and super flavorful. And, yes…you absolutely want that final squeeze of fresh lemon. It is the perfect finish to this fabulous soup. And, it was piping hot. Thank you, Zaytune!
Next, I went for the grilled shrimp skewer salad bowl. The salad bowls come with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and a bright, fresh dressing. My shrimp were sweet, smoky and really tender. Perfectly cooked. The crunchy chips which accompanied my salad were made from the housemade bread and dusted with verdant herbs. I wish you could smell your computer screen 🙂
Other standouts at this small but mighty Mediterranean spot are the hummus and herb fries with kalamata sauce. If you have not had the pleasure yet, I urge you to stop by for one of the freshest and most affordable meals in Chicago.
The space at Zaytune is tiny but cozy and welcoming. It’s a friendly neighborhood joint that attracts regulars for lunch and dinner.
Zaytune is located at 3129 S. Morgan. They are open daily from 11am – 10pm. Click here for more information.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Orange Line or #8 Halsted bus to Zaytune Mediterranean Grill. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!