Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen

On Sunday, I went to see "Jack Lemmon Returns" at the Royal George Theater. Cris Lemmon, the late actor's son does a credible job in a one man show. The show was a combination of humor, music, and pathos. The segues between the three were flawless.

After the show we decided on dinner. Where to go? Stay in the area and eat at one of the finer restaurants or head to Greek Town. The rain decided for us. We walked two doors down to Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen at 1625 N. Halsted.

Dawali is not the typical Old Town/Lincoln Park dining spot. It is more diner than dining experience. We were not looking for a dining experience, just food.

Dawali is also BYOB. There are no liquor stores close by.

The food more than made up for the lack of ambiance or booze.

After looking over the menu we decided on the Appetizer Sampler. The sampler consisted of three falafel, hummus with olive oil and parsley, Baba Gannouj,  Ful Madamas, and Masakas. We also ordered one lamb pie and one haloumi cheese pie. These were similar bur slightly larger than empanadas.

The falafel was perfectly cooked, fried to a hard crispness with wonderful spice combinations. Hummus is hummus, but the olive oil and parsley made a nice combination. The Baba Gannouj, an eggplant dish was tasty. Ful Madamas is a fava bean puree with lemon and garlic. The lemon and garlic were balanced just right. The puree had enough whole beans to give it texture. Masakas is an eggplant tomato dish, similar to caponata, served hot. This was as close to the caponata I make at home.

The sampler was served with a basket of warm pita. Who needs silverware?

The surprise were the meat pies. The lamb pie was seasoned and flavored well. But, the haloumi cheese pie was perfection. The cheese was prepared in the traditional manner with just a hint of mint leaves. The crust was baked perfectly and had just the right texture.

The amount of food was spot on for two people.

Drinking water instead of wine or beer allowed the palate to be cleansed for each item.

The staff is friendly, knows the menu, and is attentive. Major pluses.

Our bill came in at under twenty bucks. In Lincoln Park/Old Town, that is remarkable.

If you see a show at the Royal George or Steppenwolf theaters and are looking for a great fast meal, Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen is a good choice.

On another note, both theaters should really do something with the city to put a cross walk between their parking lots. It is dangerous to cross Halsted, especially for elderly people.

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