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Zaytune Middle Eastern

Zaytune Middle Eastern
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  • Zaytune Middle Eastern

    Post #1 - January 19th, 2010, 5:40 pm
    Post #1 - January 19th, 2010, 5:40 pm Post #1 - January 19th, 2010, 5:40 pm
    Just opened before Christmas. Totally weird location in "West Bridgeport" at 3129 S. Morgan. I'm no expert in middle eastern food but this place fits all my requirements for flavorful, fresh, fast, friendly, frugal and fun. Tabouli was best I've ever had. Crisp, slightly spicy and plentiful. Chicken Shawarma platter comes with pickled veggies, salad, rice, olives. Looks pretty and tastes great. Falafil are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside and not greasy at all. Fresh warm flatbread (pita?) nicely compliments. The picture on Yelp does not lie. The food and presentation really looks like that. With Han 202, Nana and Bridgeport Coffee is Bridgeport becoming a culinary destination? Doubtful but we need something because we don't have a friggin grocery or produce store of any note since Jewel and Egg Store pulled up stakes.

    Zaytune
    3129 S. Morgan
    Chicago, IL 60608
    773-254-6300
  • Post #2 - January 19th, 2010, 7:38 pm
    Post #2 - January 19th, 2010, 7:38 pm Post #2 - January 19th, 2010, 7:38 pm
    Redd -- Coincidentally we just picked up a flyer from this place yesterday in a store and were intrigued. Middle Eastern options outside of the Kedzie - Lawrence oasis have been cropping up nearer to us (who are on the Near West Side) in recent years and we're happy to see the trend continue. We plan to check Zeytune out soon; I certainly like the name, 'Olive'...

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #3 - January 21st, 2010, 1:25 pm
    Post #3 - January 21st, 2010, 1:25 pm Post #3 - January 21st, 2010, 1:25 pm
    I received a sumptuous feast of steak shawarma. Instead of it being shaved off the cone like I am accustomed to, it appeared lightly grilled and oh-so-tender. There was still a slight bit of char to the meat to get it a bit of texture and chew. Surprisingly, Zaytune grilled the skirt steak like cut to medium rare and wrapped in a luffa (sp?) like wrap that you can get at Mizrahi Grill in Highland Park.

    The bread was also thoughtfully grilled for a few seconds on each side to give the wrap a bit more solidity. The whole burrito-like monstrosity was filled with fresh vegetables, tomatoes, and parsley. A lot of thought and pride went into this sandwich. Everything tasted fresh, nothing approached the territory of gooey, slimy, or less than crisp.

    Business appeared to be suitably steady for lunch. Two people strolled out with their Bridgeport-sized wraps with gleaming reassurance on their faces. Another women came in immediately after me and picked herself up a falafel wrap with a similar demure anticipation to my own.

    I tried hard and fast to criticize any of the ingrediants tucked into the 'wich, but my punctilious pallette could not detect a demerit aside from its inauthenticity. An exemplary sandwich all-around. Zaytune's Bridgeport shawarma burrito shattered my goal to eat dainty lunches. Bridgeport has yet another reasource to keep its inhabitants fat.
  • Post #4 - January 21st, 2010, 2:21 pm
    Post #4 - January 21st, 2010, 2:21 pm Post #4 - January 21st, 2010, 2:21 pm
    vinyl endive wrote:Two people strolled out with their Bridgeport-sized wraps


    We prefer "overcoats."

    Oh, wait.
  • Post #5 - January 21st, 2010, 2:52 pm
    Post #5 - January 21st, 2010, 2:52 pm Post #5 - January 21st, 2010, 2:52 pm
    If " 'wich " catches on around here, I already know what my banned word will be in '11. And yes, I know that would make me a total hypocrite, but I've already fessed up to it.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #6 - March 6th, 2010, 10:09 am
    Post #6 - March 6th, 2010, 10:09 am Post #6 - March 6th, 2010, 10:09 am
    Hanging out at Lush on Halstead, having some wine, and we mentioned to Erin, the manager, that we wanted to try someplace new for dinner. We're eating vegetarian for Lent, but have already been to Chinatown a number of times. And, we've done Chiles Rellenos to death. She recommended Zaytune, which I hadn't even heard of. Falafel and hummus sounded good so we made our way. We got there 10 min. before they closed and the place was empty with the chairs up, but the manager and cooks waved us in so in we went. We told them we would just be taking stuff to go, but they insisted that we could stay if we wanted to. Since we live right up the street and didn't want to make them stay late...we stayed with take out.

    We got a large tabouli, large hummus, a falafel sandwich, and two lentil soups. I prefer my tabouli to have more bulgher, less parsley, but beyond that it was very good, bright, and fresh tasting. A lot of lemon. The flatbread (made in house) were delicious for sopping up the olive laden hummus. The falafel was very peppery, hot, and delicious. The salsa was very Mexican in style and could have used more heat, for my taste, but the falafel didn't really need it. The soup was simple, but good. We were very satisfied with our meal from Zaytune and may head there before Lush next time.

    LUSH University Village
    1257 S. Halsted
    - Now serving wine at the bar.

    Zaytune
    3129 S. Morgan
    Chicago, IL 60608
    (773) 254-6300
    www.zaytunegrill.com/
    - Open until 9p, Mon-Sat.
    FIG Catering, For Intimate Gatherings
    Our website
    Our blog
    molly@FIGcatering.com
  • Post #7 - June 8th, 2010, 8:39 pm
    Post #7 - June 8th, 2010, 8:39 pm Post #7 - June 8th, 2010, 8:39 pm
    The 3100 block of S Morgan is a favorite destination of mine. Start with a cup at Bridgeport Coffee House, one of the most comfortable in the city. Their coffee is good but probably not destination-worthy. Then some food at Zaytune. Finish with drinks at Kaplan's Liquors (a/k/a Maria's), one of Chicago's oddest and most enjoyable dive bars.

    Image

    Zaytune has only been open half a year and isn't very well known outside the neighborhood but they're putting out some topnotch food.

    Image

    I was initially disappointed by their very basic offerings. If there were a McPita chain this would be the menu—nothing even slightly out of the ordinary. But the quality of ingredients and careful preparation more than compensate for the limited selection.

    The kafta kabob platter shows what Zaytune is all about. This could be a real yawner at lots of places.

    Image

    Kabobs are grilled to order, the fresh salad ingredients get dressed immediately before plating and pita is baked on the premises daily. The torshi is very sour and beety, maybe not to everyone's liking, but a distinctive version. Long grain rice is perfectly done. Nothing out of the ordinary except freshness, care and careful execution.

    Similar attention to detail is obvious in their falafel. Some may enjoy playing Salam's falafel lottery but at Zaytune you're almost guaranteed freshly made discs. Here's a falafel wrap that really shows off their fresh bread.

    Image

    Image

    Each disc is formed with concavities in the side, like a red blood cell. This provides more surface area for extra crispness (just as the erythrocyte has more surface area for better oxygen exchange). Some sesame seeds are pressed into the depression before frying, a thoughtful touch I never noticed elsewhere. I'd rate this among best falafel sandwiches in the city. One quibble—I wish their red sauce had a little more zip. I'll have to remember to ask next visit if they have a spicier version.

    I hope, as their customer base grows, that they will consider expanding the menu a bit, maybe just a single daily special. For now, I appreciate their focus on doing a small set of dishes really well.

    Bridgeport Coffee House
    3101 S Morgan St
    Chicago
    773-247-9950
    http://www.bridgeportcoffeecompany.com/

    Kaplan's Liquors
    960 W 31st St
    Chicago
    773-890-0588

    Zaytune Mediterranean Grill
    3129 S Morgan St
    Chicago
    773-254-6300
    http://www.zaytunegrill.com/
  • Post #8 - May 26th, 2011, 12:54 am
    Post #8 - May 26th, 2011, 12:54 am Post #8 - May 26th, 2011, 12:54 am
    I was extremely pleased with the fet-toush (/fattoush) salad at Zaytune this week; bright citrus acidity, nice herbs, crisp garlicky flatbread bits, and quality tomato that only the Middle Eastern (er, Mediterranean Grill) places seem to have a handle on at this early time of year. The lacing with tabbouleh added textural interest.

    Image

    The chicken shawerma grill wrap was less successful. Oversized and visually appealing, it was unwieldy, sopping wet and oddly floral inside, with a circumspect paucity of meat reminiscent of so many Uru-Swati dosii.
  • Post #9 - August 10th, 2012, 7:15 pm
    Post #9 - August 10th, 2012, 7:15 pm Post #9 - August 10th, 2012, 7:15 pm
    Dropped in for a first visit late lunch today and observed a steady stream of customers...a good sign. We ordered a dozen falafel, pickles, small hummus and cucumber/yogurt.

    Pickles and cucumber/yogurt were very tasty. We both found the hummus to be slightly underseasoned...needed a bit of garlic. Falafel were fried to order and properly crunchy...but had a slightly scorched taste. Still fairly enjoyable, but perhaps a little to long in the oil. The color was slightly darker than I'm used to seeing. I think the only other explanation for the bitterness might be old oil in need of being changed.

    Based on today's falafel, I'm not sure I'll return, with so many South side options that I haven't tried yet.
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #10 - August 10th, 2012, 8:28 pm
    Post #10 - August 10th, 2012, 8:28 pm Post #10 - August 10th, 2012, 8:28 pm
    I live just a block away from Zaytune, and am there, oh, about twice a week. When I'm in a spot where I'm hungry, don't have two free hands to make dinner, but also don't want to eat pizza, my options are pretty much that and Jimmy John's. When I'm able to make it out of the house, I go to Zaytune.

    My go-to order there is the grilled vegetable wrap. Shawarma etc are fine, falafels decent, but the grilled veg dressed with tahini is a standout.
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #11 - August 24th, 2015, 8:01 pm
    Post #11 - August 24th, 2015, 8:01 pm Post #11 - August 24th, 2015, 8:01 pm
    Zaytune Mediterranean Grill now has three locations, as they've opened in North Center.

    http://chicago.eater.com/2015/8/24/9200 ... ai-restora
    4322 N. Western Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60618
    "Sandwiches are wonderful. You don't need a spoon or a plate!"
    Paul Lynde
  • Post #12 - August 28th, 2015, 12:24 pm
    Post #12 - August 28th, 2015, 12:24 pm Post #12 - August 28th, 2015, 12:24 pm
    Tried the Western and Montrose location on North Side. Very modern, cheery interior. Friendly staff. I found that the food was just OK. Chicken Shawarma was on the dry side, and had been cut well in advance of service. Steak Shawarma was neither; instead, it is a stewed beef, much like ropa vieja. Rice was bland and standard, grilled veggies were big and fresh, salad was very good, pita came with plate. Loads of food. But a definite notch below the amazing Benjyehuda and the very good Naf Naf. This place reminded me of Pita Inn in Skokie -- large quantities of mostly mediocre food, which might hit the spot now and then for lunch.
  • Post #13 - September 4th, 2017, 9:10 am
    Post #13 - September 4th, 2017, 9:10 am Post #13 - September 4th, 2017, 9:10 am
    Zaytune North Center Closes After Two Years, Bridgeport Location Still Open

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2017090 ... still-open
    "Sandwiches are wonderful. You don't need a spoon or a plate!"
    Paul Lynde
  • Post #14 - September 4th, 2017, 2:28 pm
    Post #14 - September 4th, 2017, 2:28 pm Post #14 - September 4th, 2017, 2:28 pm
    Very sad. They were a reliable place for picking up a quick, very tasty dinner. Their Chicken Shwarma and Kafta Kabob Wraps were delicious, filling, and a reasonably healthy choice. They'll be missed from our rotation.

    Buddy
  • Post #15 - September 5th, 2017, 7:13 am
    Post #15 - September 5th, 2017, 7:13 am Post #15 - September 5th, 2017, 7:13 am
    That's very disappointing. I hadn't been there recently, but I did enjoy it.
  • Post #16 - September 5th, 2017, 9:21 am
    Post #16 - September 5th, 2017, 9:21 am Post #16 - September 5th, 2017, 9:21 am
    I think they chose a poor location - almost no pedestrian traffic there (too far south from the park), and traffic moves along there at a good enough clip that you could easily miss it being there. On top of that, they also had to compete with all of the established (and pretty solid) Middle Eastern spots in the area . . . no small task.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #17 - September 5th, 2017, 6:13 pm
    Post #17 - September 5th, 2017, 6:13 pm Post #17 - September 5th, 2017, 6:13 pm
    BR wrote:I think they chose a poor location - almost no pedestrian traffic there (too far south from the park), and traffic moves along there at a good enough clip that you could easily miss it being there. On top of that, they also had to compete with all of the established (and pretty solid) Middle Eastern spots in the area . . . no small task.

    I'm not familiar with the good Middle Eastern spots near there, could you name a few?

    Thanks!
  • Post #18 - September 5th, 2017, 7:15 pm
    Post #18 - September 5th, 2017, 7:15 pm Post #18 - September 5th, 2017, 7:15 pm
    Salam, Noon O Kabab, Kabobi and Semiramis are all about a mile away on Kedzie.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago

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