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Chicago, IL – Middle East Bakery

We recently went to the Middle East Bakery, which is located at 1512 W. Foster in Chicago, IL. They have a plethora of vegan food options. My only gripe is the parking situation. It’s all metered on-street parking on a very crowded street. Rob will have a pic on his blog tonight of the lovely Detroit-Style parking job this moron in a Daewoo did behind us.

We decided to try an assortment of items….hummos, spicy hummos, roasted red pepper hummos, sun-dried tomato hummus, baba ganoush, spicy baba ganoush, artichoke lemon spread, and of course foul (spicy fava bean dip).

Yummy Food!

Everything was delicious. I love that when they say something is “spicy” they mean it. The spicy hummos and baba have a bite…which sometimes you won’t feel until you’re done eating it. The foul was wonderful too.

They also have delicious spinach and onion pies that have a slight kick to them thanks to some crushed red pepper. I would eat these anytime.

Spinach Pie

They also sell falafel and we bought a dozen to try. Their falafel is eerily similar to my favorite restaurant back in the “D”…Country Restaurant.

Falafel! Yay!

Also tried their lentil soup. It was good. It wasn’t as flavorful as the Middle Eastern lentil soups I’m used to but I’d eat it again.

Lentil Soup

And of course, who can forget dessert. Just like New Yasmeen, they have honey-free baklava. I picked out the pistachio variety. I should have bought two packages! This stuff is deliriously good.

Give me more vegan Baklava and no one gets hurt!

They also have an assortment of pita breads, spices, grains, legumes, dried fruits, and other snacks. I picked up a bag of pumpkin seeds to snack on.

Definitely try the Middle East Bakery if you’re anywhere near Chicago. The food is yummy. Parking is a bit crazy, but it’s worth the hassle when mouth-watering vegan baklava is involved. The people working there (the owners?) were exceptionally friendly and nice too. It’s not New Yasmeen but it’s the closest thing I’ve found so far since moving here.

Go Here but save some food for me!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bazu March 12, 2007, 3:26 pm

    That is so hilarious- I’m picturing the moron in the Daewoo- quite a mental image!

    That looks like such a great middle eastern restaurant. I’m glad you guys are finding good eating options in your new neck of the woods! Your description of extra spicy homos and baba ganouj are literally making me drool! And those baklava… I think it’s cool to find baklava made with sugar syrup instead of honey- I’m fairly certain it’s more authentic too…? Or maybe it’s just a regional thing.

  • melody March 12, 2007, 4:07 pm

    What a fabulous store! I am so jealous!

  • midwestvegan March 12, 2007, 6:43 pm

    That looks like a great restaurant — we had a good middle eastern place in Orlando (Cedar’s) but sadly, there are none here in my part of VA. Everything looks so good.

  • Diann March 12, 2007, 8:12 pm

    I can’t even believe that picture on Rob’s blog! I hope you checked for dents!

    That bakery is awesome – the perfect way to appreciate vegan food! We just got a new Mediterranean (cheap!) restaurant and grocery here that I am dying to check out. So much to see, so little time……

  • udandi March 12, 2007, 10:12 pm

    All that looks so delish!

    Looks like the Daewoo has a habit of skimming by other cars.

  • Emmie March 13, 2007, 12:03 am

    Middle eastern food? Check.
    Falafel? Check.
    Lots of baklava? Check.

    Yep, this post fulfills all the criteria of a perfect post πŸ˜‰ Plus I can see something resembling the Swedish flag painted on a building in the background, that’s always a plus.

    This looks very yummy. We have a few bakeries here that sell baklava, and one is especially fantastic with several different mouthwatering kinds.

  • Aurora's Mom March 13, 2007, 7:09 am

    Wow, so much good stuff to eat! I wish there was a place like that near me that I could just go in and choose things that I knew were vegan….that would be a dream come true!

    I’d be tempted to leave a nasty note on that Daewoo car….I’d think about it but of course I’d never do it…I’m too chick’n ;o)

  • Nikki March 13, 2007, 9:06 am

    I love Middle Eastern food so much! I am still mourning the loss of my favorite restaurant here. I am so jealous! I want to go to Chicago just to fill up on falafel! πŸ™‚

  • Kati March 13, 2007, 10:02 am

    Oh my gosh! I can’t believe how close that guy parked to you. It appears that they probably don’t have a very good driving record, judging from those scrapes on the front of their bumper.

    Even though this restaurant is waaaaay up north (by my standards ;), it doesn’t look like it would be hard to get to from the train. I might have to check it out some time (although I would have to avoid all that spicy food you mentioned!). Vegan baklava mmmmm

  • Becca March 13, 2007, 10:47 am

    I’ve lived down the street from this place for over four years and just last year, I finally went inside. What a fool for waiting so long! I love the foul and the spinach pies are so good. They don’t get soggy, even after spending a couple of days in the fridge and the red pepper just “makes it.”

    My sister used to cry at the dinner table when we had to eat spinach, but even she loves these pies and thinks they’re “less slimmy” than most cooked spinach dishes. In fact, I had six of them sitting in the fridge (which I can eat in two days, easily), and she took all of them home with her.

    The people working there really are very friendly.

    Also, Kati…its about a half a mile from the Red Line Berwyn stop.

  • vegandiva March 13, 2007, 11:25 am

    Thanks for the great comments everyone. Luckily Rob’s car didn’t have any marks on it. I also took a picture of the back of that Daewoo so I’d have the license plate number in case we needed that info. That loser wasn’t even parked in a real spot either.

    Bazu, yeah, I couldn’t believe it when we walked out and saw the Daewoo. If someone is going to be that much of a jerk when it comes to parking (and I think we can all safely assume driving as well), at least do it in a car with a little more “street cred” LOL Oh the spicy hummos and baba were amazing! I wish I had more. Next time I’m buying the larger tubs of it. In my experiences with baklava, it seems the bakery type stores tend to make it with sugar syrups while restaurants make/serve baklava with honey. Go figure? I wish they all made it with the sugar syrup.

    Midwest Vegan, awww, that stinks there isn’t a Middle Eastern place where you moved πŸ™

    Emmie, hey that’s a great name (it’s my name too!). Always great to hear from other people who love Middle Eastern food πŸ™‚ I will be sure to check out your blog too. As for the Swedish flag, that section of Chicago is called Andersonville and I guess had a large Swedish population at one time (that’s what one of the guidebooks I bought before we moved here says. LOL).

    Aurora’s Mom, that’s a bummer there are no places like this near you. I love being able to stock up on food like this when I know I have a busy week ahead. I told Rob we need to get some orange “Parking Violation” stickers like the college we used to attend had. They’d stick them on the illegally parked cars, on their side windows and/or windshields. I guess they were hard to remove because you’d see people that still had a bunch of sticker residue left on their cars days later.

    Nikki, oh no, that’s a shame your favorite restaurant closed down πŸ™

    Kati, the baklava was soooo good. They had several different kinds. I love pistachios but I know they had a walnut one too. I’m definitely buying multiple packages of it next time I go!

    Becca, hi and thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m excited to have another local reader πŸ™‚ I’m jealous you live so close to the bakery. I can’t wait to get more spinach pies. We bought six and they are long gone. Thanks for letting me know how well they keep. I’m going to pick up more next time. I think they’d be great for lunch the next day. That’s so funny about your sister too.

  • Twisted Cinderella March 13, 2007, 8:53 pm

    I love middle eastern cooking! I wish there was a store like that near here.

  • pinknest March 14, 2007, 6:46 pm

    aaaah! looks spectacular. i love the spinach pies. so good. and i would’ve taken about three of those yummy baklava packages. heaven.

  • K March 14, 2007, 10:25 pm

    The memories… i really miss Chicago now! There are so many little places like this (some not so little) all over. It’s an ethnic melting pot to end melting pots out there… I am loving you checking out all these places and sharing with us.

    I commented over at Rob’s blog. That was quite a parking job indeed. Wow. My Scion xA is small and can squeeeeeeze into places, but i would never attempt this maneuver. Wow! And the spinach and onion pie really looks amazing. I can’t believe that’s vegan. HOW AWESOME!

    All that hummus! I would be so excited to try any and all of those!! I am big on Middle Eastern food. If i ever get to Israel, i may never leave!


    Still lovin’ that photo you sent me, by the way. I’m gonna use it in a post soon! Thank you again for that.

  • udandi March 17, 2007, 4:04 pm

    yeah, cool masthead!

    I love copycat crafters (I am one!) so if you repurpose your tea tin into a pen holder, I want to see it πŸ™‚

  • S March 17, 2007, 4:39 pm

    Glad you discovered Middle East Bakery! If you don’t mind a little bit of walking, side street parking in our neighborhood isn’t so bad—particularly north of Foster and east of Clark. Also, Taste of Lebanon across the street is worth checking out, as are a stretch of Middle Eastern places on Kedzie south of Lawrence. Plus, if you like Ethiopian, Ras Dashen is a hop, skip, and a jump away—and all the veggie items are vegan. Enjoy!

  • vegandiva March 19, 2007, 7:53 am

    Thanks Udandi. I will be posting some of my crafty projects soon…tea canister pencil holder included πŸ™‚ I got a Michael’s coupon yesterday so I’m going to try and find that paper. I looked it up online and love the retro inspired designs.

    Thanks for the restaurant recommendations S. The Ethiopian restaurant sounds wonderful. And thanks for the tip about parking. We’re not opposed to walking πŸ™‚ We’re starting to get the hang of city parking and I’m remembering to bring change for parking meters now. We drove around for a little bit after we left the bakery to get a feel for the area and to learn our way around. Oh, and I’ve been to Super H Mart a few times. What a great place and I found tofu there I like. It’s cheap too!

  • johanna3 March 20, 2007, 1:38 pm

    That looks like such a great middle eastern restaurant!

    i will love to try all the food you post! yum!