Tuesday, March 21, 2023

How to have a great Middle Eastern meal in Orland Park area

This a “How To” for Individuals keen on experiencing the unique and thrilling flavors of Center East and Arab meals. Plenty of Individuals ask me on a regular basis the way to take pleasure in an amazing Arab and Center Japanese meal and I’m completely happy that can assist you benefit from the meals menu at among the best Center East eating places within the Southwest Suburbs, Zwar Restaurant at 9328 W. 159th Road in Orland Park, which has a rising Arab inhabitants. This How-To story ought to assist make it a simple expertise

By Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Plenty of Individuals inform me they wish to have an amazing Center Japanese or Arab meal at an area restaurant however they usually really feel that the tradition and setting makes it tough.

They aren’t aware of the music, and it appears the client bases is usually Arab Individuals who’re talking Arabic so that they really feel misplaced, generally.

That’s true with each ethnic group.

However the greatest subject is what to order? What’s on the menu? That’s a simple query that I can reply and assist first time guests to Center East eating places take pleasure in themselves and to take pleasure in a brand new and generally unfamiliar meal.

Lamb kabobs with yellow and red rice from Zwar Restaurant
Lamb kabobs with yellow rice from Zwar Restaurant


Zwar in Orland Park at 9328 W. 159th Road within the Jewel-Osco industrial strip might be one of the best place to go to take pleasure in a very genuine Arab World or Center Japanese meals menu.


The proprietor’s title is Saeda Alhmoud. She is phenomenal. The chef there is without doubt one of the area’s finest, Fathi, and has been cooking at Center East eating places for years.

The very first thing is, don’t be afraid to enter the restaurant. Arabs are very pleasant and welcoming. Saeda is phenomenal. And if she just isn’t there, anybody of the workers will enable you to by means of the menu choices.

Seize a seat. The menu is revealed utilizing a QR Code that’s on each desk. QR Code menus are the newest Fad for all eating places, not simply Zwar. So take an image of it along with your cellphone and faucet the hyperlink which is able to routinely pop up and you may assessment the menu, which I’ll stroll you thru under.

Counter clockwise: from the top: Baba ghanouj, hummus, dish of green olives and pickles and pickled beets, garlic dip with syrian pita bread in the center. At Zwar restaurant
Counter clockwise: from the highest: Baba ghanouj, hummus, dish of inexperienced olives and pickles and pickled beets, garlic dip with syrian pita bread within the middle. At Zwar restaurant

If you happen to don’t have a cellphone, don’t fear. They may offer you a menu.

Listed below are a few of the prime alternatives I counsel that you just would possibly strive.

Facet Dishes

There are a number of soups however Lentil Soup is my favourite.

There are additionally a number of salad choices. Tabouli Salad is heavy with parsley and it consists of one thing referred to as “burghul” or “cracked wheat” which is softened by soaking in lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. The quantity of parsley varies relying on what Arab nation is making it. Lebanese put a number of parsley of their Tabouli. Palestinians advert cucumbers. Jordanians have a stability of parsley and no cucumbers.

Jerusalem Salad is a diced tomato-cucumber combine with Tahini, a sauce constructed from crushed sesame seeds. Most individuals will love the style of Tahini so don’t be afraid to strive it. It’s an ingredient in Hummus, so likelihood is you already are aware of it and possibly didn’t even understand it.

Zwar Restaurant chicken and beef-lamb Shawarma Plate
Zwar Restaurant hen and beef-lamb Shawarma Plate

It’s also possible to get a Center Japanese salad with out the Tahini, and you may also get a conventional salad.

Virtually everybody loves Hummus, which is floor garbanzo (chick peas) combined with Tahini and lemon juice topped off with olive oil. It’s an amazing facet dish that you just eat with the flat Syrian bread. Break off a chunk of the Syrian bread and use it like a small edible spoon and scoop up the hummus. They often put complete garbanzo beans on prime and a few spices to offer it a tangy taste.

I like mine with lemon juice.

However that’s not all. You possibly can have a dish of Baba Ghanouj, or a dip constructed from crushed and finely chopped roasted eggplant flavored like hummus with Tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and spices. Personally it’s not my favourite however some individuals like it.

One other dip you will need to strive is the white garlic dip, or Muthawama, a pureed garlic and potato combination that you just additionally use the Pita or Syrian bread to take pleasure in. That is at all times in style with clients. Zwar makes one of the best. (There may be additionally a Toum garlic unfold that’s usually unfold like butter however is slightly totally different.

Each restaurant will even carry out a dish of cracked inexperienced olives, and pickled beets and pickles. Take pleasure in these by hand as you wait in your meal to reach.

And naturally you may order Falafel — who doesn’t love Falafel? And you may take pleasure in stuffed Kibbee, a deep good friend soccer formed vegetarian crust stuffed with diced lamb and beef combos with spices and roasted slivers of almonds or pine nuts.

Now listed below are the thrilling predominant choices.

On a regular basis, all Arab eating places mainly have comparable menu objects, though truthfully the chef at Zwar is one of the best cook dinner and the meals is at all times phenomenal, which is why I counsel you go to Zwar first to start your Arab World meals expertise.

You need the meals to be nice in your first expertise.

Let me begin with one of many distinctive meals that’s often solely out there sooner or later per week onFridays, first earlier than going into the common meals menu alternatives.

Mansef on Fridays

Friday, nonetheless, is a crucial spiritual day for Arab Muslims and as a consequence, Zwar and most different eating places serve a dish referred to as Mansef. Mansef is mainly a conventional bedouin meal that was in style in Jordan, Palestine and Syria however is out there in different Arab nations. It consists of rice, two giant lamb chunks, often lamb shoulder. And, there’s a separate bowl of what’s referred to as Jameed, or goat yogurt. You possibly can spoon the Jameed onto the rice and the lamb, or you may dip the lamb and rice into the Jameed bowl. No matter fits your fancy.

The Jameed is nice tasing and is without doubt one of the in style elements for one of the in style menu objects, Mansef.

Author Ray Hanania with Zwar Restaurant owner Saeda Alhmoud
Creator Ray Hanania with Zwar Restaurant proprietor Saeda Alhmoud

Give that one a strive on Fridays.

Additionally on Fridays, you may order stuffed grape leaves. Principally, if in case you have seen my Tiktok movies and on-line meals articles, it’s possible you’ll know that this consists of a grape vine leaf by which slightly rice combined with spiced and diced lamb is positioned on the leaf after which rolled right into a small “cigar-like” type.

Give the grapeleaves a strive. The leaf mainly holds the rice and meat collectively and when cooked is comfortable and simple to eat. You received’t even discover it. The right cooked stuffed grape leaf has rice that isn’t mushy — which implies the rice has been rinsed a number of occasions to take away the starch and isn’t over cooked.

Zwar has nice grape leaves.

Now for the remainder of the week

Lamb is a favourite of Center Japanese menus and I perceive not everybody likes lamb. That’s okay as a result of you will get steak, combined  and spiced hamburger meat and hen.

The combined hamburger is named “Kufta.” It often has fundamental spices — not scorching. And, it has parsley.

So you will get a shish kabob with lamb chunks, hen, Kufta or a mixture. The kabobs usually include two forms of rice, subsequent to one another on the plate, typical yellow rice and a reddish saffron rice, usually in style at Persian eating places.

You may also have heard of one thing referred to as shawarma, which is the Arabian model of the Greek gyros. You possibly can order a shawarma plate of hen, or lamb-beef combine, or you may have it in a Syria Bread sandwich. Individuals put tahini on the sandwich, slices of onions, pickles and different sauces.

This could provide you with an amazing begin on a Center Japanese meal, particularly if that is your first time.

If it isn’t your first time, what I’m speaking about.

Don’t be afraid to enter Zwar Restaurant and style the numerous nice menu objects of Center East, Arab or Mediterranean meals. And let me understand how you loved it.

For extra data on Zwar, go to their web site at: zwarrestaurant1.com

Take a look at Zwar’s Tiktok the place Saeda Alhmoud posts Center Japanese meals by clicking this hyperlink: www.tiktok.com/@saedahalhmoud

(Ray Hanania is an award profitable former Chicago Metropolis Corridor reporter. A political analyst and CEO of City Methods Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on mainstream points are revealed within the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Center East columns are revealed within the Arab News. For extra data on Ray Hanania go to www.Hanania.com or e-mail him at rghanania@gmail.com.)


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