Sunday, January 17, 2010

Semiramis, Lebanese Cuisine

Last night, we met our good friends Chad and Michelle at Semiramis, a Lebanese cuisine restaurant. Middle Eastern food is very gluten-friendly despite having to pass on pitas. A lot of things are grilled and served with rice so you don’t have to worry about miscellaneous flour that may be used (for example, Italian restaurants dust grilled fish with flour).

We ordered two starters: the special of the day which was a lamb sausage with grilled tomatoes, and falafel. I asked the server (who was extremely helpful) how falafel was made. After a 2 minute dissertation on the processing and cooking of falafel, I asked “so it’s not made with flour?” Everyone else laughed because I should have just asked if falafel is made with flour. Alas, it’s not! Mashed chickpeas and spices deep fried to get the crunchy outside. SUPER tasty treats!

I ordered the Chicken Chawarma with Fattoush. Fattoush is a salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, green peppers, radishes, mint and toasted pita bread, mixed with olive oil, lemon juice and sumac. I avoided the toasted pita that I should have just asked to be omitted from my order. It was a large portion! Basically, this dish is a nice salad with shaved chicken on top and drizzled with a white colored sauce.

Ernie ordered the Mixed Grill which included Lamb, Chicken, Spicy Beef, Rice, grilled onion, tomato, green pepper, and spicy chopped up onion on the side. His portion was even larger than mine! Another great gluten-friendly option.

The resturant was also great for Chad and Michelle, who recommended the resturant. Chad's a vegitarian so the vegitarian plattered offered a great mix of all things made of veggies. Michelle a classic kabob dish - enormous portion of meat and rice! Healthy and a huge variety of food.

The take-away: Great Lebanese food at a good price. We’ll be back for some more falafel! You'll have to skip dessert, but you'll be too full to want bakliva anyway.

· Arrive at/before 7pm to minimize the possibility of waiting for a table. We met Chad and Michelle at 7:30pm which must have been the peak hour because we waited nearly an hour to be seated. The waiting area was full, but at 8:45pm the entire restaurant’s patrons were turned over.
· It’s BYOB! With no corkage fee.
· Price was very reasonable. It was $40 (including tax and tip) for two of us and we even had appetizers.
· The portions are very generous so come hungry or prepare to take home your uneaten food.

Lebanese Cuisine
4639-41 N. Kedzie

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