had another great meal at Shokran about a week ago - quaint, warm atmosphere with attentive service and the best couscous & merguez sausage I've enjoyed in Chicago. If you're new to Moroccan cuisine or looking for a solid couscous, I think Shokran is an equally good fit - approachable and tasty. the online menu is up-to-date and there is a nice write-up on Moroccan cuisine on the last page of the online menu. http://www.shokranchicago.com/
cold starters were okay - a nice way to begin, but not memorable. this time we had the carrot salad ($5 dressed, cooked carrot slices) and the zaalouk ($5 eggplant, tomatoes, spices) along with the complimentary pita, chopped mild olives and harissa. harissa wasn't as good as usual but hoping this was a fluke. cold starters we ordered were not over-sized but still felt like a fair value. of note, the zaalouk was listed in timeout magazine's 100 best things eaten this year (2012) - maybe it was an off night, maybe I don't have a good frame of reference for zaalouk - it just seemed kind of bland but I'd be willing to give it another try maybe during the summer when eggplants and tomatoes are more likely to shine.
couscous royale ($19) was delicious as usual - rich, hearty and satisfying (and a very generous serving). merguez (made in-house), lamb, vegetables (turnip, carrot and cabbage all flavorful & each well-cooked) and the savory broth, along with the couscous, were the standouts. essentially, the whole dish, except the chicken, was excellent - chicken was fine, just not as enjoyable as the other components.
mint tea is the perfect finish to the meal - lightly honeyed, hot, refreshing.
always hope to try something new but get happily snagged on couscous royale - maybe next time....
friendly mom & pop establishment (never been there when the chef/owner was not there)
warm, capable staff
charming atmosphere, conversation-friendly
reasonable prices (substantial entrees fall between $13 & $19)
easy street parking
friendly byob (glassware isn't the greatest & we didn't have two glasses the same - so if this matters to you - best to bring your own)
there were private parties in the back the night were were there - occurs to me it would be a good group dining experience.
cash only with an atm on-site
some of the cushions could use some re-stuffing
it can be cold next to the windows