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Middle Eastern markets, Al-Khayam, others?

Middle Eastern markets, Al-Khayam, others?
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  • Post #31 - February 17th, 2009, 9:31 pm
    Post #31 - February 17th, 2009, 9:31 pm Post #31 - February 17th, 2009, 9:31 pm
    ak934 wrote: a delicious imported fig jam that had large chunks of flattened fig in it


    Image

    I'm 88% sure this was available at

    Cleopatra Meat & Market
    4605 N. Kedzie,
    Chicago, IL 60625
    (773) 539-0080

    if not check

    Sahar Grocery
    4508 N. Kedzie,
    Chicago, IL 60625
    (773) 583-7772
  • Post #32 - February 18th, 2009, 11:21 am
    Post #32 - February 18th, 2009, 11:21 am Post #32 - February 18th, 2009, 11:21 am
    foodie1 wrote:I'm not sure what part of the city you're in but I highly recommend checking out Al-Khaymeih which is a Lebanese grocery store in the Albany Park neighborhood. I do recall seeing imported fig jam there.



    I was just there on Sunday, and they had multiple brands, both in jars and in cans. I looooove that place - they also have great meat for cheap. Lamb shanks there are a bit over $2/lb.
  • Post #33 - February 18th, 2009, 1:13 pm
    Post #33 - February 18th, 2009, 1:13 pm Post #33 - February 18th, 2009, 1:13 pm
    Thanks, everyone!

    I totally meant to include that I live in Riverwest (just off Chicago blue line stop) and don't have a car, so I can only make it to places accessible by public transit. However, I am willing to travel for my fig jam. It looks like some great options here! I will definitely report back when I return..
  • Post #34 - February 18th, 2009, 1:17 pm
    Post #34 - February 18th, 2009, 1:17 pm Post #34 - February 18th, 2009, 1:17 pm
    And it looks like these options are all off the brown line, so extra big thanks!
  • Post #35 - February 18th, 2009, 4:51 pm
    Post #35 - February 18th, 2009, 4:51 pm Post #35 - February 18th, 2009, 4:51 pm
    If you get a chance you might want to post the name of the market in Brooklyn that you liked so much as well as any other gems you found there. There is a "Beyond Chicagoland" section for, um, areas outside Chicagoland.
    "things like being careful with your coriander/ that's what makes the gravy grander" - Sondheim
  • Post #36 - February 18th, 2009, 9:09 pm
    Post #36 - February 18th, 2009, 9:09 pm Post #36 - February 18th, 2009, 9:09 pm
    Zeina is the brand for products imported by a division of Al-Khaymeih. Not too surprisingly there are a lot of things with that label in the store. The tahini does not seem as concrete-like in the bottom of the jar as some other brands.

    Do not look for Cleopatra Market. It closed in 2007 or 2008. Sahar market moved farther north and then closed the old location. Feyrous Pastry next door added groceries in the old Sahar space, but the selection is very poor. About the only redeeming feature is that they handle South-Side pita albeit at about triple the price of some Kedzie bakeries.
  • Post #37 - March 24th, 2009, 1:51 pm
    Post #37 - March 24th, 2009, 1:51 pm Post #37 - March 24th, 2009, 1:51 pm
    Just wanted to update that I haven't made it to any of the suggestions yet, but I did find a fig jam at Bari on grand. Haven't cracked it open yet because I'm working on a few different varieties of others right now, but it seems like a fair substitute.
  • Post #38 - March 24th, 2009, 7:38 pm
    Post #38 - March 24th, 2009, 7:38 pm Post #38 - March 24th, 2009, 7:38 pm
    I've also bought fig jam at Whole foods. It was near the cheese section. I think its greek or maybe Italian. Its very thick and figgy.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #39 - August 29th, 2010, 4:26 pm
    Post #39 - August 29th, 2010, 4:26 pm Post #39 - August 29th, 2010, 4:26 pm
    After a summer of sloth, I have been bitten hard by the jam-making bug, and bought peaches, plums and blueberries this morning at the Skokie farmers market, and ordered frozen tart cherries for next week. Then I went to Whole Foods and saw some lovely looking fresh figs. Help!! :shock:

    Not only do I have more fruit in the house that I know what to do with (luckily I have a week of vacation; I may have been inspired because jam-making is so much better than cleaning out the garage :roll:)...

    Well, anyway, the point I am trying to get to is, I have never made fig jam and would be delighted to have ideas and suggestions. I plan to use low or no sugar pectin, unless someone comes along with a better idea. Any great recipes or tips out there? TIA.

    I'm going to do the blueberries and plums first, so will not get to the figs until Monday evening or Tuesday.

    (Not quite sure about adding this to this thread which is about shopping for fig jam, but it seemed to me similar enough...)
  • Post #40 - August 29th, 2010, 6:32 pm
    Post #40 - August 29th, 2010, 6:32 pm Post #40 - August 29th, 2010, 6:32 pm
    I made fig jan several years ago with a recipe from the Saveur article on Okracoke Island. My learning from this experience was to respect the tiny amount of lemon peel that the recipe calls for. If you add more, it overpowers the fig taste in the final product. Also, you will find an intriguing recipe for okracoke Island fig cake in that article. At saveur.com
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #41 - January 11th, 2020, 1:38 pm
    Post #41 - January 11th, 2020, 1:38 pm Post #41 - January 11th, 2020, 1:38 pm
    Hello all,

    I would love any recommendations on a middle eastern grocery store in the Chicagoland area. I have been to Middle East Bakery & Grocery a few times on Foster Ave. but looking for some other options. Does not have to be region or food type specific, interested in quality products, selection, and good prices.
  • Post #42 - January 11th, 2020, 6:36 pm
    Post #42 - January 11th, 2020, 6:36 pm Post #42 - January 11th, 2020, 6:36 pm
    The stretch of Kedzie from 4200 to 4900 north still has a fair number of Middle Eastern stores and restaurants although many mentioned in the early part of this thread are gone. Al-Khayam has been closed for some time. A few months ago something was going on the one their former storefronts along with signage for something coming soon. However, I have not seen any sign of progress.

    Working from the north toward the south one would start with Sahar International Market. They have a large selection of packaged goods and a good-size meat department including a lot of lamb offal. For some cuts there is a choice of fresh American, frozen New Zealand and frozen Australian lamb. The American lamb almost certainly comes from Barkaat Foods, which acquired the former Chiapetti slaughterhouse near the old stock yards. Barkaat supplies all the halal lamb sold under the Chiappetti brand, which is now part of Strauss Brands.

    Sahar International Market
    4851 N. Kedzie
    http://saharmarket.com/about-sahar-market/

    Andy's Fruit Ranch started out as a fruit and vegetable market but has expanded much beyond that. Their produce selection has shrunk while prices have crept up. The emphasis has shifted to meat, fish and packaged foods. They carry some Middle Eastern products but far more from the Balkans. They import extra virgin olive oil in 17 l. containers from Crete and bottle it in the store. Price is around $9/l. for the regular, a bit higher for organic. The flavor is intense. Colavita is bland in comparison.

    Andy's Fruit Ranch
    4733 N. Kedzi
    http://www.andysfruitranch.com/

    Sanabel Bakery is farther south and spreads over a couple for garage-type buildings. Their pita is widely available in grocery stores but fresher in the store. I like the whole wheat pita. The Lebanese style spinach and meat pies are produced throughout the day. Packaged products selection is comparable to Sahar; it is hard to say which is larger.

    Sanabel Bakery
    4213 N. Kedzie

    Across the street from Sanabel is a Cermak Fresh Market store. Nothing Middle Eastern but worthwhile for produce and Hispanic foods including South American. Beats Jewel on quality and price for produce and meat.

    Cermak Fresh Market
    4234 N. Kedzie
    https://www.cermakfreshmarket.com/
  • Post #43 - January 12th, 2020, 2:01 am
    Post #43 - January 12th, 2020, 2:01 am Post #43 - January 12th, 2020, 2:01 am
    Sahar is a great suggestion. Two additional. Arax in Niles, packed storefront, loved the deli case tahini which reminded me of fresh ground peanut butter. Slightly smaller but worth a visit, Middle Eastern Market on Harlem.

    Both are next to Middle Eastern restaurants, the one next to Arax, Detroit Kabob House, is so-so at best, the one next to Middle Eastern Market, Falafel Dream, is pretty good with indifferent service.

    There is a large vibriant Middle Eastern community in Bridgeview, around 87th and Harlem, anchored by Al Bawadi Grill.

    Arax Foods
    9017 N Milwaukee Ave
    Niles, IL 60714
    847-966-1808

    Middle Eastern Market
    3952 Harlem Ave
    Chicago, IL 60634
    773-625-1212

    Al Bawadi Grill
    7216 W. 87th
    Bridgeview, IL.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #44 - October 18th, 2020, 7:41 am
    Post #44 - October 18th, 2020, 7:41 am Post #44 - October 18th, 2020, 7:41 am
    Been meaning to post about this place:
    Harlem Foods
    9250 S Harlem Ave
    Bridgeview, IL 60455

    I've only been twice, and those familiar with the middle eastern population in this area might know of better, but I think this place is great. A few weeks ago, we were in the area, and, of course we decided on middle eastern takeout, and wound up at Al Bawadi, which, on that Saturday at 6pm was an absolute ZOO. Packed solid, and, I was 9th in line waiting for pickup. They were absolutely slammed. This had to be Oct 3rd. Smoke was billowing out of the exhaust outside, and the lot was jammed solid. I'd guess they had a private party going on. I mean, just PACKED. When I called to place the order, I asked to purchase extra pita, and they told me they were not selling extra pita at this time. I assumed because business may have been slow, not because they were busy. We were coming from the south, so I remembered Harlem Foods, and figured we could pop in for fresh pita at 1/4th the price, so, we made the stop.

    They have a butcher that gets raves, I've never bought any meat.

    They have the super fresh, warm pita and breads you'd expect, a very good variety, the big lavash, different styles of pita, both times Ive been there, the bagged pita is pillow soft, and easy to find warm bags.

    They also have a small bakery display with:
    8inch round (pizza thin) breads topped with lightly scrambled egg and Za'tar
    Several different filled buns, like:
    -spinach and za'tar
    -spinach, cheese and za'tar
    -spicy chicken and za'tar
    -probably a few more
    -fried falafel

    Their prepared cold salad section, if you catch them at the right time:
    -Hummus
    -Baba G - and it's GOOOOOOOOOOOOD. It comes in one of the round tin containers with the plastic dome top, with a slick of olive oil, that just about every restaurant sells for 6.99 - 9.99 or more as a "large." Theirs is 3.99 and, well, the next time I get it (which might be today) might move this place up on my list of resources. It's damn good.
    -Pretty sure they had the parsley salad with grains, totally forgot the name, but everyone knows it.
    -AAAAAAAND they had mason jars full of something called Hot Pepper Salad, which, at 8.99, I thought was fantastic. Think fresh giardiniera with less olive oil. If you've ever had "Seebee's Giardiniera," it was damn similar, just less oil. I loved it.
    -There were several other things in the prepared salad / dip case, but we had a big meal at Al B to pick up, so we only grabbed a few things.

    I really like their bakery buns, and their falafel were pretty damn tasty. It helped that the falafel were throw ins from the gentleman behind the counter after I asked how much they were, but they were still damn tasty.

    I'm sure there are other decent mid eastern grocers in the area, I've only been to one other smaller one, not worth mentioning, or remembering. Even across the east west street from Al B, in the big strip mall, there was a grocery that stated it had a fresh made food counter, which I will definitely try to hit up asap, but Harlem Foods is well worth a visit (imo) if you are in the area. They had a modest selection of Shan spice boxes which helped make me happy, too. Scored a fresh box of Kerahi, Nihari, and Tandoori to get me through a month or two. Been on a grilled Indian spiced chicken thigh kick for a while, and Nihari season is here.

    So, baseline, here's how I'm planning on using this place:
    Buying falafel, baba g, (maybe hummus too, but we're baba g people,) the parsley/grain salad, and fresh pita.

    Taking that stuff home, and grilling chicken thighs, and having a middle eastern feast.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #45 - October 20th, 2020, 8:45 am
    Post #45 - October 20th, 2020, 8:45 am Post #45 - October 20th, 2020, 8:45 am
    seebee wrote:Been meaning to post about this place:
    Harlem Foods
    9250 S Harlem Ave
    Bridgeview, IL 60455

    I've only been twice, and those familiar with the middle eastern population in this area might know of better, but I think this place is great.


    Right on Chris. I agree this place is great, and I'm also quite hep on the "giardinara." A couple of other things I really like there are the triangle shaped, sesame coated cheese pies--different than the manakish (pies) also for sale, and the green "salsa". Last time I was there, about 2 weeks ago, I got a yogurt/labneh from a place called Sultan's of Watseka, IL that was thicker than a Ted Drewes concrete.

    My only problem is that as much as I'm in love with Harlem Foods, there's other places I love around there too. Beesan (7211 W 84th St, Bridgeview, IL 60455) has these amazing beef and jalapeno sfeeha (think empanda) and also killer baba. Al Medina (11228 S Harlem Ave, Worth, IL 60482) is worth it just for the cookies, but they also make their pies to order. Also hot on the spot is Baba Saj (10442 S Harlem Ave, Palos Hills, IL 60465) which has not only the crisper manakish but a softer, saj--think Neopolitan pizza to tavern. Finally, I should note that when shopping down there, don't skip over the Pete's (10280 S Harlem Ave #11, Bridgeview, IL 60455). The Pete's in Oak Park is my go-to for groceries. The one in Bridgeview is 10x better, with all sortsa products aimed at both the Arab and Polish communities nearby.

    Harlem Foods is a great place to visit. The whole area is a great place to visit. Lunch a few weeks ago was at Nariman (8312 S Harlem Ave, Bridgeview, IL 60455) which has the usual falafel, kebabs, etc., but the reason to go is for the Palestinian home-style cooking. Each day is a few specialties. On the Sunday I was there it included the "upside down" casserole called makloba and the mallow soup-stew called molokhola. It was funny quizzing Ms. Nariman on what the various other items (qidra, kabasa, etc.) were. "This is rice with..." "on this one we take the rice and..."Thanks for the prompt.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #46 - October 21st, 2020, 9:30 am
    Post #46 - October 21st, 2020, 9:30 am Post #46 - October 21st, 2020, 9:30 am
    VI -
    This is fantastic intel - much appreciated.
    Beesan is very high on the list of must tries now. This also gives me an excuse to try Village Garden again, which is right next door. A few years ago, I was on the verge of nominating them for a GNR. Fell off my radar after a few more visits that were good, but less than stellar. Need to give them another try.

    I'll definitely have to be on the lookout for the "green salsa" at HF. If I saw it, I would have pounced on it. The Hot Pepper Mix stuff will probably wind up in the, "if we run out, need to go get more asap" column of fridge staples. It goes on everything. Sammiches, salads, pizza, eggs, mac& cheese. It's basically a less oily version of a fresh giardiniera - love it. But you already know what time it is.

    Thanks again!
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #47 - October 24th, 2020, 4:44 pm
    Post #47 - October 24th, 2020, 4:44 pm Post #47 - October 24th, 2020, 4:44 pm
    Beesan moved, I think.
    I pulled up giddy as a schoolgirl, only to see what looked like the aftermath of a closure. Just a few pieces of assorted trash on the floor, and empty coolers. No lights. ALL GOOD, THO. I went to the strip mall across the east/west street from Al Bawadi, and walked into a find. Alwatan Bakery. I'll betcha this is the joint that supplies all the places in the area with their stuffed breads, yo. They had the round pizza lookin things with za'tar and cheese, too. Even wraps ( scored their last chicken one.) HOT pita in bags. Not warm. HOT from the oven. 3 for 1 falafel, too. Buncha hot, filled, breads. Small counter, but PACKED. Go there.

    Went back to Harlem Foods, scored the baba, some kibbeh (1.50 per) and some of their pre-marinated wings from the deli. Got em on the grill now. Fingers crossed. On the way back, I DID see a sign for Beesan Bakery and Meats, but it was on the east side of Harlem, not too far from 84th, I think a tiny bit north. I had a car full of stuff, so I didn't stop. Next time.

    Alwatan, tho. Go there.
    https://www.alwatanbakery.com/

    Eta: Alwatan's falafel were bland and boring. Everything else was pretty decent. Will give Beesan a try next time. The wings from HF were lightly seasoned. Decent. But not great in any way. Tangy more than anything. HF's kibbeh were very good.

    I'm hoping Beesan can be a one stop shop for a take home middle eastern feast, but a 1-2 punch of Beesan + HF, or Alwatan would be super easy. One more thing: HF has rugela from Tanoor Bakery. Got the chocolate ones. Didn't last very long at all. Very good.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.

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