LTH Home

DMen Tap--Doner Done Right

DMen Tap--Doner Done Right
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • DMen Tap--Doner Done Right

    Post #1 - July 8th, 2017, 5:59 pm
    Post #1 - July 8th, 2017, 5:59 pm Post #1 - July 8th, 2017, 5:59 pm
    I'm a bit surprised no one has written this place up just yet. The Donermen truck, frankly one of the best food trucks in an admittedly limited pool here in Chicago, opened their brick and mortar a little while back, effectively across the street from the original Kuma's. It's a bar, too, which is the only thing that the truck could've possibly done to improve on their food--serve it with beer. And that they do.

    The menu is mostly the same as the truck, with a few more variations--they offer some non-animal proteins like tofu or seitan, and as I found out today, they are doing lamb/beef doner on Fridays and Saturdays, later in the day. I have eaten at this truck every Dark Lord Day since they came out, and think they're the greatest thing since rolled pita bread--perfectly fresh vegetables, lively sauces, and wonderfully spit-roasted chicken. The fact that I don't have to run into them on the street anymore is just magic. Add in a really nice, succinct taplist (in addition to cans, bottles, and some interesting-looking cocktails), and you have a solid little lunch or dinner. I think they have 8 taps, serving a good variety (today, a couple 3Floyds beers, a very palatable Ace cider with some pineapple, and a few others), all in a comfortable, well-worn bar. Throw in the food and an open playlist, and damn--what a great place to chill.

    Food is ordered at the back, at a high counter just like the truck. Order drinks at the bar, and bus your own dishes, whatever they may be. Or just follow up your beer and doner with some Kabanes and call it an afternoon. While we were far from alone eating here, I am amazed that they don't have lines like the truck does, especially with Kuma's in spitting distance. Get over there.

    DMen Tap
    2849 W Belmont Ave
    Chicago, IL 60618
    http://www.donermen.com/
  • Post #2 - July 12th, 2017, 12:57 pm
    Post #2 - July 12th, 2017, 12:57 pm Post #2 - July 12th, 2017, 12:57 pm
    Disclaimer: I know these dudes. Regardless, I'm surprised there's no mentions of it either. Although I haven't been to the brick and mortar yet the food from the truck has always been fantastic. They make one of my favorite tzatzikis, really thick, cucumber-y and garlicky. I love how they use the pickles for the kebabs too. Gives a nice vinegary hit. They do German style Doner Kebabs for those who haven't heard of them yet so more like a chicken shawarma then a lamb doner. Really tasty. Need to get over to the new space soon for sure.
    "I Like Food, Food Tastes Good" - The Descendants
  • Post #3 - August 1st, 2017, 10:27 pm
    Post #3 - August 1st, 2017, 10:27 pm Post #3 - August 1st, 2017, 10:27 pm
    It needs to name a hamburger after Rick Astley. :wink:
    That'll get it the attention it needs. :!:
    Learn what Bing prefers you not know: http://66.242.161.72/pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #4 - September 6th, 2017, 9:23 pm
    Post #4 - September 6th, 2017, 9:23 pm Post #4 - September 6th, 2017, 9:23 pm
    Wow, a recent meal here was seriously disappointing. Thinking about all the excellent, nearly-life-changing doner I've enjoyed over the years, the food here just made me sad. This is doner in name only. For those who've never had exemplary doner, calling this doner will just be misleading (at best) and will mean nothing. For those who have had it, disappointment is inevitable.

    First, the only animal protein available here is chicken. I don't even remember chicken being available at any of my favorite doner stands (e.g. in Germany, it's all about lamb). But even if one is willing to accept such a significant improvisation (I was giving the benefit of the doubt), this was some seriously dried out bird - tiny pieces that were hard, fibrous and chewy. And $12 for what could not have been more than 2 ounces of meat?! Just not good. Great doner is meat-forward. It is hot, juicy, ample and glorious. It should not be a fussified salad on a pita condimented with a few bits of dried out chicken.

    Just off the top of my head I can think of at least 20 nearby places that serve more satisfying food, including 5 that are less than 3 blocks away. Honestly, a microwaved gyros from a crappy hot dog stand would have easily surpassed this bit of bogusness.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #5 - September 7th, 2017, 10:15 pm
    Post #5 - September 7th, 2017, 10:15 pm Post #5 - September 7th, 2017, 10:15 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Wow, a recent meal here was seriously disappointing. Thinking about all the excellent, nearly-life-changing doner I've enjoyed over the years, the food here just made me sad. This is doner in name only. For those who've never had exemplary doner, calling this doner will just be misleading (at best) and will mean nothing. For those who have had it, disappointment is inevitable.

    First, the only animal protein available here is chicken. I don't even remember chicken being available at any of my favorite doner stands (e.g. in Germany, it's all about lamb). But even if one is willing to accept such a significant improvisation (I was giving the benefit of the doubt), this was some seriously dried out bird - tiny pieces that were hard, fibrous and chewy. And $12 for what could not have been more than 2 ounces of meat?! Just not good. Great doner is meat-forward. It is hot, juicy, ample and glorious. It should not be a fussified salad on a pita condimented with a few bits of dried out chicken.

    Just off the top of my head I can think of at least 20 nearby places that serve more satisfying food, including 5 that are less than 3 blocks away. Honestly, a microwaved gyros from a crappy hot dog stand would have easily surpassed this bit of bogusness.

    =R=


    Can you share some of your favorite local sources for good doner kebab?
  • Post #6 - September 7th, 2017, 10:21 pm
    Post #6 - September 7th, 2017, 10:21 pm Post #6 - September 7th, 2017, 10:21 pm
    Went here once with Fifille and saw no reason to return. It was pretty forgettable, portion was small, meat was dry, nothing at all spoke to me.
  • Post #7 - September 8th, 2017, 12:13 am
    Post #7 - September 8th, 2017, 12:13 am Post #7 - September 8th, 2017, 12:13 am
    Jerry D wrote:Can you share some of your favorite local sources for good doner kebab?

    Sadly, I know of none, and that contributed to my anger/disappointment here. I was hoping we'd finally have a place in town that served it up right -- and we may -- but this isn't it and if it does exist, I don't know it. To be clear, none of the nearby places to which I alluded above serve doner.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #8 - September 10th, 2017, 4:20 pm
    Post #8 - September 10th, 2017, 4:20 pm Post #8 - September 10th, 2017, 4:20 pm
    SP Kebab, no?

    viewtopic.php?f=14&t=32516
  • Post #9 - September 10th, 2017, 8:08 pm
    Post #9 - September 10th, 2017, 8:08 pm Post #9 - September 10th, 2017, 8:08 pm
    Cafe Orchid?
  • Post #10 - September 10th, 2017, 10:56 pm
    Post #10 - September 10th, 2017, 10:56 pm Post #10 - September 10th, 2017, 10:56 pm
    epoomay wrote:SP Kebab, no?

    viewtopic.php?f=14&t=32516

    Perhaps. In spite of their not serving lamb, I enjoyed my first visit there but subsequent visits were really disappointing, as the food was bland -- like night and day compared to my initial visit. I haven't been back since 2012.

    rmtraut wrote:Cafe Orchid?

    Now that you mention it, I do remember enjoying the doner there and thinking the product was pretty good over the course of several experiences. However, I encountered other issues, which have kept me away ever since. Also, it appears, looking at their website, that sandwiches (my preferred mode) are only available at lunch, though doner plates are available on the dinner menu.

    =R=

    SP Kebab
    6808 N Sheridan Rd
    Chicago, IL 60626
    (773) 856-3755

    Cafe Orchid
    1746 W Addison St
    Chicago, IL 60613
    (773) 327-3808
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #11 - September 11th, 2017, 6:57 am
    Post #11 - September 11th, 2017, 6:57 am Post #11 - September 11th, 2017, 6:57 am
    Taza Bakery ?

    Big portions for sure. But too much acid if you ask me.
  • Post #12 - September 11th, 2017, 5:40 pm
    Post #12 - September 11th, 2017, 5:40 pm Post #12 - September 11th, 2017, 5:40 pm
    A quick search reveals a number of fast-foodish Turkish-ish places that opened without much notice featuring doner. Doubting that there's been a recent influx of Turks to Chicago, I'm guessing that former Soviet Republic immigration might explain it. In any event, I smell a doner-a-thon brewing. I hope.
  • Post #13 - September 11th, 2017, 6:41 pm
    Post #13 - September 11th, 2017, 6:41 pm Post #13 - September 11th, 2017, 6:41 pm
    If the Doner at Cafe Orchid, which I've had several times as a part of the combination kebab plate, is representative of some of the best Doner in Chicago, I'm calling for a blind taste test.

    I could hardly tell any difference from the decent (ie. less greasy) gyros places in the Skokie-Evanston-Niles area. It was like gyros meat in shawerma texture/pieces.
  • Post #14 - September 11th, 2017, 10:32 pm
    Post #14 - September 11th, 2017, 10:32 pm Post #14 - September 11th, 2017, 10:32 pm
    JeffB wrote:A quick search reveals a number of fast-foodish Turkish-ish places that opened without much notice featuring doner. Doubting that there's been a recent influx of Turks to Chicago, I'm guessing that former Soviet Republic immigration might explain it. In any event, I smell a doner-a-thon brewing. I hope.


    Former Soviet Kyrgyz / Uzbek immigration explains shashlyk. Arab immigration explains doner. Soviet Arab Republic never existed, agreed?
  • Post #15 - September 13th, 2017, 11:01 pm
    Post #15 - September 13th, 2017, 11:01 pm Post #15 - September 13th, 2017, 11:01 pm
    No. I'll try not to reciprocate the condescension. Turks aren't Arab and neither is doner. And Istanbul is Paris to the Turkic folks of the former Soviet Stans, according to the many with whom I've spoken over the years, with Turkish being a typical 3rd language after the local tongue and Russian. Lots of cross pollination with Uzbeks and Kyrgyz studying and traveling in Turkey, and apparently a lot of doner in Russia and its former vassals. It helps to think about where rugs come from to understand the Turkic diaspora, or where Turks came from before they helped displace the Greeks in the Sultanate of Rum.
  • Post #16 - September 14th, 2017, 6:53 am
    Post #16 - September 14th, 2017, 6:53 am Post #16 - September 14th, 2017, 6:53 am
    JeffB wrote:No. I'll try not to reciprocate the condescension. Turks aren't Arab and neither is doner. And Istanbul is Paris to the Turkic folks of the former Soviet Stans, according to the many with whom I've spoken over the years, with Turkish being a typical 3rd language after the local tongue and Russian. Lots of cross pollination with Uzbeks and Kyrgyz studying and traveling in Turkey, and apparently a lot of doner in Russia and its former vassals. It helps to think about where rugs come from to understand the Turkic diaspora, or where Turks came from before they helped displace the Greeks in the Sultanate of Rum.


    I understand uygurs, mongols (turks and tatars included) and related Central Asian nations from former USSR, but those "former Soviets" don't do doners in Chicago.
  • Post #17 - September 14th, 2017, 10:13 am
    Post #17 - September 14th, 2017, 10:13 am Post #17 - September 14th, 2017, 10:13 am
    To me a doner kebab, as being discussed here, is the shaved meat sandwich that originated in Berlin. The traditional doner served in Turkey is iskender kebab though you certainly see plenty of doner kebab sandwiches these days.

    The only doner kebab sandwich Ive had in Chicago was from the doner men truck. Ive tried it twice, and I have to agree with Ronnie. Not something Im likely to eat again. I have had a couple good shawarma sandwiches, of particular note the rendition at Taza Bakery when they are on. I have not seen doner at the central asian joints, though I am a fan of the shashlyk at Jibek Jolu.
  • Post #18 - September 14th, 2017, 5:34 pm
    Post #18 - September 14th, 2017, 5:34 pm Post #18 - September 14th, 2017, 5:34 pm
    "Central Asians don't do doner in Chicago" isn't inconsistent with the (mis)statement that doner is Arab food, but it surely doesn't support it, and I'm not sure how knowable that is anyway. Again, this calls for more investigation. The fact is, a number of supposedly Turkish quick serve spots serving doner have appeared. I'll try to drop in to sample the product and better understand who's behind these humble spots.
  • Post #19 - September 14th, 2017, 6:36 pm
    Post #19 - September 14th, 2017, 6:36 pm Post #19 - September 14th, 2017, 6:36 pm
    JeffB wrote:I'll try to drop in to sample the product and better understand who's behind these humble spots.

    I'd love to check a few out. Lemme know if you want a wingman.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #20 - September 14th, 2017, 6:49 pm
    Post #20 - September 14th, 2017, 6:49 pm Post #20 - September 14th, 2017, 6:49 pm
    Sounds like it's time for... a Doner Party.

    Image
  • Post #21 - September 15th, 2017, 11:12 am
    Post #21 - September 15th, 2017, 11:12 am Post #21 - September 15th, 2017, 11:12 am
    Haven't had their Doner, but it is on the menu and everything else I've had at the following spot (either side) has been outstanding.

    I-Cafe Sukur’s Place / Pide ve Lahmacun
    1814 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613.
    http://www.sukursplace.com/icafe/
  • Post #22 - September 15th, 2017, 4:48 pm
    Post #22 - September 15th, 2017, 4:48 pm Post #22 - September 15th, 2017, 4:48 pm
    cilantro wrote:Sounds like it's time for... a Doner Party.

    Image

    If you put a huge black pudding or Morcilla on a torno, would that be...
    a Blood Doner?
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #23 - September 15th, 2017, 5:17 pm
    Post #23 - September 15th, 2017, 5:17 pm Post #23 - September 15th, 2017, 5:17 pm
    JoelF wrote:
    cilantro wrote:Sounds like it's time for... a Doner Party.

    Image

    If you put a huge black pudding or Morcilla on a torno, would that be...
    a Blood Doner?


    Blood Doner and Doner Party could be great restaurant names
  • Post #24 - September 15th, 2017, 10:45 pm
    Post #24 - September 15th, 2017, 10:45 pm Post #24 - September 15th, 2017, 10:45 pm
    I was really disappointed by the currywurst I ordered for my sister and me from Donner Men at Christkindlmarket last December. Seemed like a total waste of money. But I was reluctant to say so here, partly because they seemed to have support here and partly because I realized the cold conditions at the market weren't ideal for serving hot food. But I remember having much better, warmer currywurst from a food truck in Dusseldorf under similarly cold conditions.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #25 - September 16th, 2017, 2:20 am
    Post #25 - September 16th, 2017, 2:20 am Post #25 - September 16th, 2017, 2:20 am
    This entire intersection seems like people who read that Kuma's is there.

    it ALL sucks

    Honey Butter is garbage. Kuma's is Garbage. This place is fucking 15 dollars for a shitty sausage and 4 and a half fries. Dragon Lady Lounge was Garbage. Hot Dougs was some dude paying people to make him not garbage and standing at a cash register for 10 years to become a millionaire. i sorta liked square but it was garbage. Mojo's was a neat cafe.

    If you have ever eaten at anywhere other than those mexican grocery stores you are garbage. All of these places suck and are overrated. Drive 5 blocks and get a sashimi platter on wednesdays for fucks sakes.
  • Post #26 - September 16th, 2017, 6:12 am
    Post #26 - September 16th, 2017, 6:12 am Post #26 - September 16th, 2017, 6:12 am
    Are you NAVMAN's nephew, writing after a few brewskis?
  • Post #27 - September 18th, 2017, 12:54 pm
    Post #27 - September 18th, 2017, 12:54 pm Post #27 - September 18th, 2017, 12:54 pm
    ....so I'm sitting in the entirely Turkish restaurant I-Cafe Sukur's Place at Irving under the Brown line. Just me and the entirely Kazakh and Kyrgyz staff and the equally central Asian appearing cabbies. Waiting on my doner wrap. The pide and lahmacun look and smell good. I'll report back on the kebab. Lucky guess.
  • Post #28 - September 18th, 2017, 1:06 pm
    Post #28 - September 18th, 2017, 1:06 pm Post #28 - September 18th, 2017, 1:06 pm
    JeffB wrote:....so I'm sitting in the entirely Turkish restaurant I-Cafe Sukur's Place at Irving under the Brown line. Just me and the entirely Kazakh and Kyrgyz staff and the equally central Asian appearing cabbies. Waiting on my doner wrap. The pide and lahmacun look and smell good. I'll report back on the kebab. Lucky guess.


    That sounds like the perfect 1-2 punch along with Steingold's. You don't even have to move your car.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #29 - September 18th, 2017, 1:59 pm
    Post #29 - September 18th, 2017, 1:59 pm Post #29 - September 18th, 2017, 1:59 pm
    Image
    Looks right.

    Image
    Interior.

    PostprandialPost from the car:

    It was good. Lots of crisped bits of not-quite-gyros-not-quite-cheesesteak lamb and beef blend on excellent springy lavash that I believe is house made (I've never seen a Central Asian place in Chicago that doesn't make all bread and pasta in house, which is a huge benefit of these places). Very good tomatoes and leaf lettuce, standard mysterious white sauce (involves mayo!) and that's it. Sambal on the side.

    Now, I like these things more crisped on the griddle into a tight cigar sometimes, but with bread and veggies this good, less-grilled and softer was absolutely right. Best of all might have been the free red lentil soup subbed for fries. Not just puréed but probably also strained like Central American frijoles colados, this was seriously good soup. I have to say, I've walked past here a hundred times and never made it in before, thinking it was cabbies on computers wasting time. It's a serious restaurant and all the Anatolian bread stuff looks terrific.

    Was it precisely what I had a few summers ago near the train station in Munich? Gosh. I think so. This is a little like eating a Chicago style burrito in Mexico or Indian Chinese on Devon, though I do think fewer liberties were made to tweak the German-Turkish street food despite the former Soviet, Central Asian lens.

    And, as always, the serene and lovely Russophone people of the Stans working here couldn't be nicer.

    I-Cafe 1814 W. Irving Park

    https://www.icafechicago.com
  • Post #30 - September 18th, 2017, 2:06 pm
    Post #30 - September 18th, 2017, 2:06 pm Post #30 - September 18th, 2017, 2:06 pm
    Open late! Drunks rejoice.

    Anyone been to the New Colombian bar on that same stretch in the old Cafe 28 space? They actually have morcilla, to the point upthread. La Jirafa. Nice little stretch. Long Room isn't far either.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more