Orland Park Gem – Full Middle Eastern Flavor Showcased at NBC Chicago

Many of Chicago’s early Palestinian and Jordanian immigrants settled around 63.rd Streets, but over the past half-century they’ve continued to expand into the suburbs, including Orlando Park, which has great restaurants serving Middle Eastern flavors.

According to NBC 5 Food Guy Steve Dolinsky, Middle Eastern cuisine is blessed with a wealth of colors and textures. Brinies, crispy pickles. Rustic, smooth dips and spreads. Additionally, the mound of parsley for tabbouleh mirrors the mound of rice that serves as the base for almost everything.

Restaurant Zwar is one of the newest options along the crowded lineup along 159.th The streets of Orlando Park, where a family seeks to recreate the flavors of their ancestors’ hometowns.

“These recipes originated in the Middle East, Jordan and Palestine,” says owner Omar Ramman.

Freshly baked pitas are designed to be dragged into colorful plates of baba ganoush, made from grilled eggplant, or creamy, smooth hummus, both garnished with sumac, parsley and olive oil. increase.

Shawarma is no surprise, given that the chefs hand-stack chicken and lamb skewers daily, slice them to order, and pop them directly onto plates already loaded with two types of basmati rice.

“The meat is prepared and piled up the day before it is marinated, and then cut into very thin slices,” says Rumman.

The kebabs are also a highlight. From filet mignon to minced chicken kefta kebabs, they are marinated and then grilled directly over hot charcoal until properly puffed up.

The dish is also rice-based and garnished with sumac-covered red onions and sliced ​​tomatoes. On Fridays they make Mansaf. Mansaf is a traditional dish throughout the Levant, but is considered a national dish, especially in Jordan.

“The lamb is marinated in yogurt and cooked with yellow rice and nuts on top,” says Rumman.

It’s actually sliced ​​almonds, traditionally with a base layer of pita hidden underneath yogurt-soaked rice.

As for the pita, Rumman and his family installed a special oven so they can make fresh pita every day.

“It’s really about the flavor and culture behind us. A lot of our competitors outsource their bread. I wanted to make sure the bread was fresh,” he said.

Mansaf is only served on Fridays. This is lamb with yogurt and rice. Even if you can’t come on Friday, bring your friends. You may need help eating it all.

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