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Semiramis Lebanese Cuisine [Pictures]

Semiramis Lebanese Cuisine [Pictures]
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  • Post #91 - December 17th, 2006, 4:54 pm
    Post #91 - December 17th, 2006, 4:54 pm Post #91 - December 17th, 2006, 4:54 pm
    the full chicken for under $6 is one of the best deals in chicago
    i could eat that daily for years

    semiramis also lays waste to noon-o-kabab id say
  • Post #92 - December 20th, 2006, 9:28 pm
    Post #92 - December 20th, 2006, 9:28 pm Post #92 - December 20th, 2006, 9:28 pm
    terrible service. meh food.

    perhaps i had an isolated incident but there's no way i'm going back. al kaymeh (sp?) is way better in every aspect. curse this thread for getting us to go there. i also think noon-o-kebab is way overrated.
  • Post #93 - December 20th, 2006, 10:41 pm
    Post #93 - December 20th, 2006, 10:41 pm Post #93 - December 20th, 2006, 10:41 pm
    mr2025 wrote:terrible service. meh food.

    perhaps i had an isolated incident but there's no way i'm going back. al kaymeh (sp?) is way better in every aspect. curse this thread for getting us to go there. i also think noon-o-kebab is way overrated.

    Hi, mr2025, and welcome to the forum! My two experiences with the food at Semiramis were quite positive, however, so would you mind going into further detail about what makes you feel that way about the service and the food? I had to wait a while to be seated one evening because a large party had taken over half the dining area, but the food was well worth the wait. I also enjoyed my sandwich special on another occasion, even though I had to pay more than $5 for it. :P What did you order?

    Just curious,
    Dan
  • Post #94 - December 21st, 2006, 10:02 am
    Post #94 - December 21st, 2006, 10:02 am Post #94 - December 21st, 2006, 10:02 am
    I'm also curious about that terrible experience at Semiramis---I always had a fine meal there and service has always been efficient. While I also like Noon-O-Kabob very much, the manic overcrowding at the establishment is baffling to me (I know that damn "Check Please" has something to do with it, but still...). Though it is kind of funny watching people fight for a table inside the restaurant while also watching drivers fight for parking outside on Kedzie. Especially when there's a train passing.
  • Post #95 - December 21st, 2006, 10:15 am
    Post #95 - December 21st, 2006, 10:15 am Post #95 - December 21st, 2006, 10:15 am
    i went to noon -o-kabab with my mom/dad for my dads bday

    he is a 'check please' fan and thats how he heard about one or both of these

    at noon-o-kabab i had one of the most intensely flavored dishes of my life

    Stew of absolutely fresh spinach, parsley, green onions, cilantro, Fenugreek finely chopped and cooked with Persian dried lime, chunks of choice beef and red beans, served with whtie Persian rice.


    somehow this came out as black as night
    and dark and thick as dirt

    i swear it tasted like dirt
    however i can tell this is what was intended, so to a fan of this they get what they want

    so i feel like i have to respect it, tho it was hard to deal with
    i ate it all anywyas :D
    i guess im not very familliar with the flavor of fenugreek, maybe that threw me off

    as semiramis i have not eaten there but i have gotten the chicken to go twice
    im a big dude and i can eat at least twice if not thrwe times off that meal which costs $6

    thats a steal and it is deliciious
  • Post #96 - December 21st, 2006, 10:24 am
    Post #96 - December 21st, 2006, 10:24 am Post #96 - December 21st, 2006, 10:24 am
    satan165 wrote:at noon-o-kabab i had one of the most intensely flavored dishes of my life

    Stew of absolutely fresh spinach, parsley, green onions, cilantro, Fenugreek finely chopped and cooked with Persian dried lime, chunks of choice beef and red beans, served with whtie Persian rice.



    That would be the ghormeh sabzi and is, in my opinion, the only notable dish at Noon O Kebab.

    mr2025,
    As someone who has had no less than 20 excellent meals (with great service) at Semiramis, I hope you'd try it again sometime.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #97 - December 21st, 2006, 5:48 pm
    Post #97 - December 21st, 2006, 5:48 pm Post #97 - December 21st, 2006, 5:48 pm
    That would be the ghormeh sabzi and is, in my opinion, the only notable dish at Noon O Kebab.



    would you disagree with my summation that it tastes like eating a chunk of the earth?
  • Post #98 - December 21st, 2006, 6:36 pm
    Post #98 - December 21st, 2006, 6:36 pm Post #98 - December 21st, 2006, 6:36 pm
    satan165 wrote:
    That would be the ghormeh sabzi and is, in my opinion, the only notable dish at Noon O Kebab.


    would you disagree with my summation that it tastes like eating a chunk of the earth?


    To my tastes, yes, I would disagree. I like the aggressive seasoning and slow-cooked flavor of the greens. It reminds me of the Indian dish sarson ka saag, something I also enjoy very much.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #99 - December 22nd, 2006, 12:45 am
    Post #99 - December 22nd, 2006, 12:45 am Post #99 - December 22nd, 2006, 12:45 am
    how did slow cooking spinach turn the entire dish black as night?

    i think its interesting that i chose this, i went stright for the most interesting thing on the menu

    i also was diggin the wild appetizer of some kind of cheese, parsley, raw onion and pita. very nice
  • Post #100 - December 22nd, 2006, 10:51 am
    Post #100 - December 22nd, 2006, 10:51 am Post #100 - December 22nd, 2006, 10:51 am
    satan165 wrote:how did slow cooking spinach turn the entire dish black as night?


    I don't think there is spinach in this dish, but mainly a mixture of herbs. And I don't think it should be black, but a deep, dark green. Perhaps you got part of a bad batch.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #101 - December 22nd, 2006, 3:10 pm
    Post #101 - December 22nd, 2006, 3:10 pm Post #101 - December 22nd, 2006, 3:10 pm
    the menu definately mentions spinach, which sparked my interest in the dish.

    i think i did get a bad batch. after i ate it all my family was laughing at me for eating it. we asked the waiter what he thought of the dish and he said something like 'uh.....its a good dish', neglecting to give it an endorsement of his own
  • Post #102 - December 31st, 2006, 12:08 pm
    Post #102 - December 31st, 2006, 12:08 pm Post #102 - December 31st, 2006, 12:08 pm
    We made our first trip to Semiramis yesterday afternoon around 2. The place was relatively full, but happily we had no trouble getting a table.

    We ordered the falafel special sandwich and the schwarma over hummus. Both were great. I loved the medley of flavors in the falafel sandwich (reminiscent of some build your own falafel sammy's I have made in Tel Aviv where I first discovered that tahini/hummus and iceberg/supermarket tomatoes were not the only way to dress up falafel). Red cabbage gave nice crunch, some lovely chunks of smoked eggplant, vinegary pickle, and the creamy hummus. Also great bread. The wrap was warm and fresh. Its food like this that could make me believe for a short moment that I could be a vegetarian :)

    But only for a short moment because we ordered meat too:
    The schwarma over hummus was quite lamby with some lovely crunchy parts. The dish was nicely accented with a dusting of deep red sumac. The pita that came with that (one white one wheat, more typical thicker style bread) was also served warm (we would have preferred more lavash for scooping instead of this bread, hoping they will substitute next time)

    We have not been before so can't speak to any decline in quality, but we were very happy with what we got for $16 and will return!

    We then strolled up and down Kedzie a bit. Noon o Kebab was indeed packed. Andy's Fruit Ranch had an interesting hot food counter right inside the store that included roasted quail and cornish hens! (I did not realize cornish hens were a staple of Lebanese cuisine). The Al Khayam bakery had a great oven out in the market space with a sheep or lamb on the oven door. They also had an interesting selection of food items including the new ingredient find of the day from the frozen section:

    Image

    "Jews Mellow" is a green similar to spinach used in Egyptian cooking.
    Its also considered to be an aphrodisiac that encourages debauchery.

    Happy Debaucherous New Year!
  • Post #103 - April 25th, 2007, 10:06 am
    Post #103 - April 25th, 2007, 10:06 am Post #103 - April 25th, 2007, 10:06 am
    i wonder how they make a proffit by giving it away?
  • Post #104 - April 25th, 2007, 10:09 am
    Post #104 - April 25th, 2007, 10:09 am Post #104 - April 25th, 2007, 10:09 am
    chikenking wrote:i wonder how they make a proffit by giving it away?


    Can you be a little more specific regarding what you're referring to? Who is giving away what?
  • Post #105 - April 25th, 2007, 10:09 am
    Post #105 - April 25th, 2007, 10:09 am Post #105 - April 25th, 2007, 10:09 am
    chikenking wrote:i wonder how they make a proffit by giving it away?


    Volume
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #106 - April 25th, 2007, 10:26 am
    Post #106 - April 25th, 2007, 10:26 am Post #106 - April 25th, 2007, 10:26 am
    griffin's wife wrote:They also had an interesting selection of food items including the new ingredient find of the day from the frozen section:

    Image

    "Jews Mellow" is a green similar to spinach used in Egyptian cooking.
    Its also considered to be an aphrodisiac that encourages debauchery.


    Actually, this is Jew's mallow, with an "a" not an "e." We've all seen the same valiant effort at spelling a word in an unfamiliar language and coming very close.

    But for those who are interested in the item itself, you'll have much better luck if you look under mallow (or its Arabic name ملوخية, variously transcribed as molokhiya or molokheya (and now, I imagine, it's time for someone to correct my Arabic :D ).
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #107 - April 25th, 2007, 10:40 am
    Post #107 - April 25th, 2007, 10:40 am Post #107 - April 25th, 2007, 10:40 am
    Gypsy Boy wrote:But for those who are interested in the item itself, you'll have much better luck if you look under mallow (or its Arabic name ملوخية, variously transcribed as molokhiya or molokheya (and now, I imagine, it's time for someone to correct my Arabic :D ).


    My Arabic is a little rusty, but I think you've got it right with "molokheya".
  • Post #108 - April 25th, 2007, 4:17 pm
    Post #108 - April 25th, 2007, 4:17 pm Post #108 - April 25th, 2007, 4:17 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:its Arabic name ملوخية, variously transcribed as molokhiya or molokheya...


    or molukhia, on the package in the photo...
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #109 - June 12th, 2007, 7:41 am
    Post #109 - June 12th, 2007, 7:41 am Post #109 - June 12th, 2007, 7:41 am
    LTHForum,

    Last night saw yet another in a long string of tasty, relaxed, inexpensive meals at Semiramis. Faced with little time and little in the fridge, Cookie and I stopped in for a light meal of their smoky baba ganouj, bright fattoush with shwarema, and one of the appetizer specials of the evening: the "kibbe trio".

    The kibbe trio contained three dumpling-style kibbe: one made of traditional bulgur, one of clove scented potato, and one of turmeric-spiced rice. All three were filled with the same ground lamb. It was a well-executed little appetizer of a variety of flavors, scents, and colors.

    Semiramis remains a neighborhood favorite, especially since they still surprise me with little gems like last night's special.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #110 - June 22nd, 2007, 12:39 pm
    Post #110 - June 22nd, 2007, 12:39 pm Post #110 - June 22nd, 2007, 12:39 pm
    LTHForum,

    Wanted to thank everyone who recommended Semiramis. A few weeks ago Mr. E and I stopped by there for lunch.

    We had baba ganouj, smoky, and very good. I am not a big tahini fan, and many times I feel that there is too much tahini in baba ganouj. This baba ganouj had it just right - there was just a hint of tahini, not too much, not too little, just enough.

    Great homemade lemonade, very good and refreshing.

    Also had the Lamb and Beef Special Sandwiches, also very tasty.

    The service was friendly and what a great value for the price. Will be back for dinner sometime.

    I noticed that some posts mentioned daily specials, we didn't notice any. Are specials only available for dinner?

    And wanted to say hi to everyone - I have been lurking for a while.
  • Post #111 - November 4th, 2007, 10:42 am
    Post #111 - November 4th, 2007, 10:42 am Post #111 - November 4th, 2007, 10:42 am
    Image

    Lemony, roasted chicken at Semiramis. I liked it. It comes with rice and some garlic mousse. I like that it also comes wrapped in a thin bread. So you can just pick it up and eat it like a burrito, bones and all. Not that I did that. I just like the option. They are always super nice to me there and it makes me scratch my head when I walk by and see that their place is not full on some nights.
  • Post #112 - November 4th, 2007, 8:20 pm
    Post #112 - November 4th, 2007, 8:20 pm Post #112 - November 4th, 2007, 8:20 pm
    We have been a few times and have always had a positive experience. Last time we overheard the waitress talking to another table and then she confirmed for us that they are supposed to be on Check Please shortly after the holidays. We think we noticed that their prices went up, but we still think it's a bargain. We usually get one appetizer and two entrees (love the mixed grill, I think that is what they call it) and always have enough leftovers for another very satisfying meal at home the next day.
  • Post #113 - November 5th, 2007, 8:51 am
    Post #113 - November 5th, 2007, 8:51 am Post #113 - November 5th, 2007, 8:51 am
    tiapam wrote:...Last time we overheard the waitress talking to another table and then she confirmed for us that they are supposed to be on Check Please shortly after the holidays...


    Oh, that's awesome. I usually have mixed feelings about a place I like being on that show and getting packed, but this time I'm happy for them. They deserve more customers.
  • Post #114 - January 7th, 2008, 4:51 pm
    Post #114 - January 7th, 2008, 4:51 pm Post #114 - January 7th, 2008, 4:51 pm
    Just a quick note to report that in addition to great food, Semiramis can throw a terrific party. I organized dinners there for two large groups in the last month - 32 people for our staff holiday party and 24 for a birthday party. They hosted us in the second room and dropped the pretty sheer curtains that gave a suggestion of having a separate space. Joseph and John were wonderful to work with in making the arrangements. We had a set menu, served family style for both parties for a great price. There was lots of food, the service was delightful, patient, and efficient. I had very, very happy guests for both parties.
  • Post #115 - February 22nd, 2008, 2:23 pm
    Post #115 - February 22nd, 2008, 2:23 pm Post #115 - February 22nd, 2008, 2:23 pm
    I'm thinking of stopping by for dinner as a friend of mine has a show at the nearby Montrose Saloon. How much seating does Semiramis have? There should be a group of 6 of us or so -- should we expect a long wait by 7ish on a Friday night?

    Thanks,
    dan
  • Post #116 - February 22nd, 2008, 2:39 pm
    Post #116 - February 22nd, 2008, 2:39 pm Post #116 - February 22nd, 2008, 2:39 pm
    There are maybe 15-20 tables, is my very rough guess. It's hard to say the availability at 7:00. It was very full last time I was there, but that's probably because our group took up the whole back area. I'd suggest calling ahead to reserve a table for tonight. I think they take reservations for any size party.
  • Post #117 - March 3rd, 2008, 5:41 pm
    Post #117 - March 3rd, 2008, 5:41 pm Post #117 - March 3rd, 2008, 5:41 pm
    Just wanted to say that we went recently for lunch on a Saturday and there was no waiting. We still love it. They did say that the previous night was busy with waits up to an hour. We agreed that it would have been worth waiting for. But with a three year old in tow, lunch is a better option for us right now.
  • Post #118 - March 4th, 2008, 5:42 pm
    Post #118 - March 4th, 2008, 5:42 pm Post #118 - March 4th, 2008, 5:42 pm
    A group of nine LTHers paid a visit for lunch this afternoon, I thought I would post a few pictures and thoughts and let some of my dining companions continue the dialogue.

    Things are still at the same high level they were back in the early, heady days of Semiramis' youth. If anything, the restaurant has matured to the point that it is now a well oiled machine. Our server today was the ever genial John, who has been there since the very early days.

    Image

    We started out with a parade of Semiramis' appetizer greatest hits including tabbouleh, hummos, baba gannouj, ful madamas, fatoush, falafel and a special order of kibbe nayah.

    Tabbouleh
    Image

    Ful Madamas
    Image

    Baba Gannouj
    Image

    Fattoush
    Image

    Kibbe Nayah
    Image

    The apps were all very good. In particular, I enjoyed the Ful with it's heavy hit of garlic and spices.

    For the main course, we split a couple of Semiramis' great roast chickens, a special of lamb and white beans with rice and an order of beef and lamb kafta (their spelling). These were also good, with the weak link (if any) possibly being the kafta, which to my palate paled in comparison to most of the other dishes, though they were certainly well prepared.

    Semiramis Roast Chicken
    Image

    Lamb with White Beans and Rice
    Image
    Image

    Beef and Lamb Kafta
    Image

    At the end of the meal, John brought out some walnut cookies for the table. They were a nice not-too-sweet ending to a fine meal.

    Image

    Semiramis is a GNR Winner, yet has somehow fallen off the radar to many of us lately. It's well worth making a note to drop in in the near future if for nothing else than one of their chickens to go.

    Semiramis
    4639-41 N Kedzie
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-279-8900
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #119 - March 4th, 2008, 5:51 pm
    Post #119 - March 4th, 2008, 5:51 pm Post #119 - March 4th, 2008, 5:51 pm
    Wow! It all looks and sounds delicious, especially that gorgeous chicken. Fantastic pics, Steve.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #120 - March 5th, 2008, 7:45 pm
    Post #120 - March 5th, 2008, 7:45 pm Post #120 - March 5th, 2008, 7:45 pm
    stevez wrote:Things are still at the same high level they were back in the early, heady days of Semiramis' youth. If anything, the restaurant has matured to the point that it is now a well oiled machine.

    Steve,

    Very enjoyable lunch at Semiramis, thank you for setting it up. This was my second time at Semiramis in a two weeks and I agree they are as good, if not better, than the early days. At Tart Tatin's request Steve asked Joseph to prepared kibbe nayah, a tasty lamb version with flavor that really bloomed as it came to room temperature. Giovanna, ever prepared, had a stash of Spice House Vulcan Fire Salt which added just the right note of spice to the kibbe.

    All in all a very enjoyable lunch, good food combined with even better conversation.

    A solid thumbs up for Semiramis GNR renewal.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow

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