Masouleh (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Mediterranean Rogers Park
Masouleh (CLOSED)
Photograph: Mireya Acierto Masouleh

The bright sprigs of herbs: parsley, cilantro; the cool cubes of rich feta; the radishes, a sharp contrast to the cheese; and the pita, soft and warm. As at all Persian restaurants, this classic combo arrives at the beginning of the meal, but at Masouleh, it’s what happens afterward that truly sets it apart.

The mast-o khiar was, as described on the menu, just mint and cucumber in a housemade yogurt. Good, but not nearly as tasty as the oloviehé. Smeared on pita, the pâté-like spread of chicken, potato, pickles and peas had a delicious savoriness. The juicy Masouleh kebab (ground beef, much like a kefta kebab) was impeccably seasoned, with discernible notes of onion, cilantro and a little bit of sumac to add a bright, fruity note to the meat. And the khoureshte gheimeh bademjan, a succulent stew of soft eggplant, tender bites of steak and toothsome yellow peas, was absolutely addictive.

So maybe the “baklava cake” our server treated us to—the only thing we were served that wasn’t made in-house—was a little dry. And maybe the “Persian tea” tasted like Lipton. None of that mattered. By that point we had learned what Masouleh was all about. And we left craving to learn (and sample) more.

By: David Tamarkin


Venue name: Masouleh (CLOSED)
Address: 6653 N Clark St

Cross street: between Wallen and North Shore Aves
Opening hours: Lunch (Sat, Sun), dinner (closed Mon)
Transport: El stop: Red to Loyola. Bus: 22, 36, 151, 155.
Price: Average main course: $13
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