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A nice evening: Salam & Penguin

A nice evening: Salam & Penguin
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  • Post #91 - March 16th, 2010, 8:39 pm
    Post #91 - March 16th, 2010, 8:39 pm Post #91 - March 16th, 2010, 8:39 pm
    BR wrote:So I'll occasionally give Salam a chance now when I'm craving shawarma, but it's the perfect falafel that I almost always desire and for more than a year-and-a-half, I have found that a couple blocks north at Dawali.

    I am a fan of Dawali, so much so I arranged an upcoming Purple Asparagus Family Dinner there. That said, I've been to Salam 4 times since the expansion, see posts upthread, and Salam remains a favorite.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #92 - May 1st, 2010, 3:15 pm
    Post #92 - May 1st, 2010, 3:15 pm Post #92 - May 1st, 2010, 3:15 pm
    My luck continues to hold at Salam, lunch today was first-rate all around, from the fresh-from-the-fryer falafel to the moist and flavorful shawarma to the smoky, if a bit too lemony, baba ghanoush. Maybe a secret is coming for lunch on Saturday, which is what my last two visits have been.
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  • Post #93 - May 4th, 2010, 5:30 pm
    Post #93 - May 4th, 2010, 5:30 pm Post #93 - May 4th, 2010, 5:30 pm
    Wow, I really enjoy Semiramis' Falaffel Special sandwich the best of the bunch on Kedzie. The extra veggies really do it for me. Salam's shwarma on the other hand...delish!
  • Post #94 - May 7th, 2010, 10:23 am
    Post #94 - May 7th, 2010, 10:23 am Post #94 - May 7th, 2010, 10:23 am
    Made my first-ever morning visit to Salam. The good news is that at 9:15AM, there is no jostling over fresh-fried vs. heat lamp falafel. The first balls of the day were being dropped into the fryer just as I walked in.

    Morning falafel:
    Image

    These were terrific. I'm still of the opinion that Salam's falafel are the best in town.



    The bad news was that the early hour encouraged me to try something off the eggy side of the menu:

    Eggs and sausage fried in olive oil:
    Image

    The eggs were pretty darn good, but that sausage was horrible. Just tasted like mushy, salty nitrates - like the cheapest brand of hot dogs you can find at the grocery store.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #95 - May 7th, 2010, 10:26 am
    Post #95 - May 7th, 2010, 10:26 am Post #95 - May 7th, 2010, 10:26 am
    Kennyz wrote:These were terrific. I'm still of the opinion that Salam's falafel are the best in town.

    That's been my opinion, too. When they are on, there are none better.

    =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 #96 - July 17th, 2010, 1:09 pm
    Post #96 - July 17th, 2010, 1:09 pm Post #96 - July 17th, 2010, 1:09 pm
    After yet another perfect meal at Salam, it boggles my mind that it wasn't renewed for a GNR. Ok, fine, the renovation was a bit lamentable. But I'm starting to grow fond of the portraits of Middle Eastern landmarks, and the young Hispanic and Arabic waitresses (who are very sweet by the way) aren't the worst thing to set eyes on.

    But on to the food. My hummus shawerma plate was as good as ever, creamy emulsified puree topped generously with charred, heavily spiced lamb and beef and shaved onions. The house-made jalapeno salsa, which was already great, seems to be improving. Spicier, more tart and with a pronounced fermented tang, it may be my favorite hot sauce in the city.

    The specials were absolutely spot on. The two mensef plates I shared with friends were the best example of the classic dish that you will have outside of someone's home, and even then only if they are mean cooks.

    So to you detractors. You had a falafel that sat for 15 minutes? Well boo frikkin hoo. It happens. Even in Ramallah, Nablus or Cairo, where there is infinitely more demand and there are places that make only falafel. Ask if its fresh, and if its not and they won't prepare it for you, order something else. Like mensef.
    Last edited by Habibi on July 17th, 2010, 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #97 - July 17th, 2010, 9:04 pm
    Post #97 - July 17th, 2010, 9:04 pm Post #97 - July 17th, 2010, 9:04 pm
    Habibi wrote:After yet another perfect meal at Salam, it boggles my mind that it wasn't renewed for a GNR.
    Preaching to the choir my friend, preaching to the choir!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #98 - July 18th, 2010, 1:11 pm
    Post #98 - July 18th, 2010, 1:11 pm Post #98 - July 18th, 2010, 1:11 pm
    Kennyz wrote:Made my first-ever morning visit to Salam. The good news is that at 9:15AM, there is no jostling over fresh-fried vs. heat lamp falafel. The first balls of the day were being dropped into the fryer just as I walked in.


    Another good time to go is after the dinner rush. I often stop in at about 8:30pm on weeknights on my way home from the gym. Falafel is usually gone by then and they're frying it to order instead of doing whole batches.

    I'm still eating at Salam a couple times a month. To me the food is just as good as the first time I ever went, sometimes even better.
  • Post #99 - July 18th, 2010, 3:33 pm
    Post #99 - July 18th, 2010, 3:33 pm Post #99 - July 18th, 2010, 3:33 pm
    Let me just throw my two cents in here: I believe Salam is currently at the top of its game. I adore the renovated space, and find that service operates like a well-oiled machine. Staff is very friendly, and lately, most of my food has been groan-inducingly good (ya know, the kind of food that's so good you roll your eyes back in your head and moan to yourself).

    As of late, I find myself returning at least a couple times a month, even when Salam is far out of my way.
    Twitter: @Mattsland
  • Post #100 - October 8th, 2010, 7:59 am
    Post #100 - October 8th, 2010, 7:59 am Post #100 - October 8th, 2010, 7:59 am
    eatchicago wrote:I'm still eating at Salam a couple times a month. To me the food is just as good as the first time I ever went, sometimes even better.
    Fantastic Thursday lunch at Salam, good as ever, maybe even better as EatChicago says. Mloukhieh aka Jews Mallow w/rice, pita, torshi and half roast chicken, Salam Thursday daily special, $9.66, which I posted about with pictures in the Where can I eat mloukhieh? thread. Service exemplary, waitress knew the menu inside and out, hummus silky smooth and delicious.

    Daily specials have switched around, I suggest a call if one has a specific desire, though Friday is (typically) mensef.

    Salam, count me a fan!

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #101 - December 15th, 2010, 8:04 am
    Post #101 - December 15th, 2010, 8:04 am Post #101 - December 15th, 2010, 8:04 am
    Lovers of Salam may also be interested in this.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #102 - January 17th, 2012, 6:32 pm
    Post #102 - January 17th, 2012, 6:32 pm Post #102 - January 17th, 2012, 6:32 pm
    It's been a long time since I've eaten at Salam and I'm glad I made it back today. The $7 "Business Lunch" was excellent.
  • Post #103 - February 7th, 2012, 5:55 pm
    Post #103 - February 7th, 2012, 5:55 pm Post #103 - February 7th, 2012, 5:55 pm
    Salam's
    "Business Lunch Special" is still pretty tatsy.
    Served on a smaller, oval shaped plate than when they first offered it.....
    http://www.salamchicago.com/
    They are now featuring Abdul- aka "Albert",
    the kind friendly waiter we grew to love when it was more of a small, one room affair-
    (who the moved over to Dawali, and later to Bab al Salam on Cumberland- and for the pst 8months has been "back home".

    Go see Abdul- and show him some love :)
    Image
    Abdul aka "Albert"-The Waiter by Man_of Steel, on Flickr

    Salam
    4634-36 N. Kedzie Ave.
    Chicago, IL. 60625
    (773) 583-0776
  • Post #104 - April 22nd, 2012, 9:44 am
    Post #104 - April 22nd, 2012, 9:44 am Post #104 - April 22nd, 2012, 9:44 am
    After some occasional quality issues at Dawali, the sudden downward spiral of Bab al Salaam and the return of Albert to Salaam, I went to visit my old friend and found him charming as ever. But I still find some issues with the food at Salaam. Shawarma has always been a major strength of Salaam, although I don't think it has ever been as good as it was in Salaam's early days. The other day, I had some delicious lamb pieces, but found too many pieces of pure fat, and some just too-dry pieces. Altogether solid, just not up to the old standards in my opinion.

    Falafel, though pre-made, was still hot and crispy but I found them a little heavy, and the seasoning just a little light compared to what I've enjoyed in the past, and particularly inferior in flavor to those previously found at Bab al Salaam and Dawali. But although I find issues with some of the food at Salaam, I like Salaam and I'll still return because there's plenty good to be found at Salaam and I always enjoy Albert's company.

    As for Dawali, I had enough mediocre meals to stay away for a while, but I've had better success as of late. However, even though Nasser's not cooking, I find the quality to be far better when he is present in the restaurant.
  • Post #105 - April 22nd, 2012, 9:57 am
    Post #105 - April 22nd, 2012, 9:57 am Post #105 - April 22nd, 2012, 9:57 am
    BR wrote:Falafel, though pre-made, was still hot and crispy but I found them a little heavy, and the seasoning just a little light compared to what I've enjoyed in the past, and particularly inferior in flavor to those previously found at Bab al Salaam and Dawali.
    If you ask really nicely, I've found that they'll make you fresh falafel. Grabbed takeout last week, and enjoyed a dozen, piping hot falafel.

    I don't like everything at Salam. The salads, in particular, disappoint. But, a bag of falafel and double hummus with shawarma make for a nice, quick dinner. Since the downhill slide at Dawali, we've tried Salam a handful of times. But we're still not eating Middle Eastern on Kedzie nearly as often as we did when Salam was one room or when Dawali was new.

    Ronna
  • Post #106 - November 17th, 2014, 8:14 am
    Post #106 - November 17th, 2014, 8:14 am Post #106 - November 17th, 2014, 8:14 am
    The last post here is really two years ago? In any event, I've been on a falafel hot streak at Salam of late. Last three visits have featured not only hot from the fryer fresh falafel, but also moist, light, delicate and beautifully spiced falafel. At 40 cents per, a fantastic deal.

    Baba ganoush too seems to have the delicate smokiness that I recall of Salam's best days.

    Shawarma has been a bit more hit and miss. Flavor is always terrific, but last time it was too dry. A little tahini and hot sauce help and are sufficient to rescue the dry pieces.

    I haven't expanded my repertoire too much these days -- I need to -- but I've been pleased with what I've been seeing of late from Salam. That, and Albert patrolling the dining room as the wonderful host that he is, has caused me to once again crown Salam as king of Kedzie. Is it perfect? No, but the consistency and quality (at least for me) seem to be much better than it had been a few years ago.
  • Post #107 - November 17th, 2014, 9:11 am
    Post #107 - November 17th, 2014, 9:11 am Post #107 - November 17th, 2014, 9:11 am
    BR wrote:Is it perfect? No, but the consistency and quality (at least for me) seem to be much better than it had been a few years ago.

    I've always been a fan of Salam Kedzie and lately have been digging the new(ish) Fullerton branch. Was on Fullerton for an early lunch with a friend just last week. We split Qudsiah and each had lunch specials.

    Food was very good, I particularly liked the qudsiah, service great, price more than reasonable. The single falafel that came on both our specials the weak link. 5 minutes and 35 seconds out of the fryer. I ate it, but if falafel is a full order, as opposed to a side note, I ask for fresh out the fryer.

    Salam, count me a fan!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #108 - November 17th, 2014, 10:29 am
    Post #108 - November 17th, 2014, 10:29 am Post #108 - November 17th, 2014, 10:29 am
    Amata and I had an excellent lunch at Salam on Kedzie on Saturday... a large baba ghanouj and kefta sandwiches... both were outstanding... The waitress warned us that the baba portion was huge and I responded "I know — we'll be taking some home for breakfast consumption..."

    We combined the visit to Salam with a stop at Sahar and a most rewarding grocery shop — got some beautiful lamb steaks and some excellent merguez sausages, a very nice little round of Turkish feta and a bunch of staples. The oasis around El Aurans & Qedzi remains a favourite place for us in Chicago...

    We've also been to the newer Salam on Fullerton and have been completely satisfied there as well...

    A
    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 #109 - November 17th, 2014, 1:36 pm
    Post #109 - November 17th, 2014, 1:36 pm Post #109 - November 17th, 2014, 1:36 pm
    Thanks for the report Antonius! People on LTH seem a bit less than enamored by Salam nowadays but I find it as satisfying as ever, due in no small part to how rarely I get to eat there, I reckon. But I really do think quality has held up. Their qudssiya (hummus w/ ful) remains a favorite as do kofta and the liver/kidney fry. The return of "Albert" (I forget his kunya) was much welcomed, and I think you'd be interested to know that he's quite the amateur polyglot, greeting my friends of different ethnicities in Moroccan Arabic, Korean, and Puular, respectively.

    Sahar, too remains a mainstay for me, it's quality unmatched by even the best stocked Arab groceries in Patterson, NJ or Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and a standard stop on my way home from ORD down "elawrense" (I laughed out loud at your nailing of the inflection) to the lake.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #110 - November 17th, 2014, 3:22 pm
    Post #110 - November 17th, 2014, 3:22 pm Post #110 - November 17th, 2014, 3:22 pm
    Habibi wrote:The return of "Albert" (I forget his kunya) was much welcomed.


    It's Abdul, and I think that after a few years of sliding downhill, the food has once again taken an upward turn that coincidently coincided with his reutrn.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #111 - November 17th, 2014, 3:37 pm
    Post #111 - November 17th, 2014, 3:37 pm Post #111 - November 17th, 2014, 3:37 pm
    IIRC he went by Abu []. Abdul is not a nickname I've ever heard, let alone a proper name, and I don't recall him ever using it. But I quibble, who knows, maybe you're right.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #112 - November 17th, 2014, 3:37 pm
    Post #112 - November 17th, 2014, 3:37 pm Post #112 - November 17th, 2014, 3:37 pm
    Abu Shadi. His nickname is Abu Shadi. Just remembered.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #113 - November 17th, 2014, 4:45 pm
    Post #113 - November 17th, 2014, 4:45 pm Post #113 - November 17th, 2014, 4:45 pm
    Habibi wrote:Abu Shadi. His nickname is Abu Shadi. Just remembered.


    I think it was my Western ears hearing Adbul when he must have been saying Abu. :oops:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #114 - December 13th, 2018, 11:12 am
    Post #114 - December 13th, 2018, 11:12 am Post #114 - December 13th, 2018, 11:12 am
    Image

    This Lemony fatta with piping hot moist beef shawarma was made by a practiced hand. The cardamom milk tea was right on as well. No complaints on last few visits, and the guys running the dining room are awesome and justifiably proud of the hospitable serving sizes.
  • Post #115 - April 20th, 2019, 12:09 pm
    Post #115 - April 20th, 2019, 12:09 pm Post #115 - April 20th, 2019, 12:09 pm
    Nothing to get too excited about but a recent delivery from Salam was plenty solid. I really love their ultra-creamy, tahina-forward hummus. Falafel, packed in a simple paper bag, held up surprisingly well and were as delicious as always. Beef and chicken shawarma were both flavorful and retained some moisture. Lentil soup was a bit thick and needed to be stirred between spoonfuls but was tasty. The only outright disappointment was the impotent, watery-thin hot sauce ($0.75 for a 1-ounce container). You're way better off just pulling some sambal out of the fridge.

    With some of the oddball items currently on the menu (e.g. buffalo chicken tenders, guacamole, cheeseburgers), it's easy to raise an eyebrow but sticking to the classics still seems a safe bet. They're also providing online ordering and delivery via Zuppler (among others). This is the first instance I can remember of being able to order online and also pay cash for the entire order. I like that very much.

    =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 #116 - October 18th, 2019, 2:13 pm
    Post #116 - October 18th, 2019, 2:13 pm Post #116 - October 18th, 2019, 2:13 pm
    After a couple of very pleasant dine-in lunches at Salam over the past several weeks, I tried to call in a pickup order at 430pm on Wednesday, and the person who answered the phone said the restaurant was closed. Drove by the storefront, and there is a License Suspended sticker on the door, with the windows all papered over. I hope this is just a temporary setback.
    We crack us up.
  • Post #117 - October 18th, 2019, 11:01 pm
    Post #117 - October 18th, 2019, 11:01 pm Post #117 - October 18th, 2019, 11:01 pm
    Snax wrote:After a couple of very pleasant dine-in lunches at Salam over the past several weeks, I tried to call in a pickup order at 430pm on Wednesday, and the person who answered the phone said the restaurant was closed. Drove by the storefront, and there is a License Suspended sticker on the door, with the windows all papered over. I hope this is just a temporary setback.

    Yelp confirms the closing. No word on whether it is permanent or temporary.

    Fwiw, my last meal here was nowhere near as enjoyable as the one I recently described upthread . . . like two different restaurants.

    =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 #118 - October 19th, 2019, 6:04 pm
    Post #118 - October 19th, 2019, 6:04 pm Post #118 - October 19th, 2019, 6:04 pm
    I should clarify that I am speaking of the Kedzie location in Albany Park, which does not say Closed on Yelp. I’ve never been to the Lincoln Park version. And my falafels earlier this month on Kedzie were as fresh and tasty as ever.
    We crack us up.
  • Post #119 - October 19th, 2019, 6:18 pm
    Post #119 - October 19th, 2019, 6:18 pm Post #119 - October 19th, 2019, 6:18 pm
    Snax wrote:I should clarify that I am speaking of the Kedzie location in Albany Park, which does not say Closed on Yelp. I’ve never been to the Lincoln Park version. And my falafels earlier this month on Kedzie were as fresh and tasty as ever.

    Ok, per our Posting Guidelines, can you please provide some third-party confirmation of the closing or a picture of what you saw? Unfortunately, if you cannot provide one of those, we may have to pull your posts until additional information becomes available publicly. It's not that we don't trust you. But the rules are there for a reason and our goal is to apply them as evenly as possible.

    Thank you,

    =R=
    for the Moderators
    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 - October 19th, 2019, 6:29 pm
    Post #120 - October 19th, 2019, 6:29 pm Post #120 - October 19th, 2019, 6:29 pm
    Online ordering is unavailable on all platforms (via Yelp, and Salam's website link) I could find.

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