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Bulgarian at Mehanata

Bulgarian at Mehanata
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  • Bulgarian at Mehanata

    Post #1 - February 14th, 2010, 10:15 pm
    Post #1 - February 14th, 2010, 10:15 pm Post #1 - February 14th, 2010, 10:15 pm
    I did a search, and the only mention of this place I found was a post from a year ago that mentioned its existence and asked if anyone had tried it. There may have been a steady stream of visitors since then, but it does not appear to have been reported, so I thought I'd share the details of the delightful meal I had at Mehanata tonight.

    I was dining with a large group of friends, so we did the "order everything and share" routine. As a result, we got to sample a fair cross section of delights. One of my friends had recently returned from Bulgaria, so she was particularly interested in seeing how it compared (absolutely perfect, she said).

    For appetizers, we started with the Potatoes Sauté (potatoes fried in butter, garlic and dill -- fabulous), Beef Tongue (simmered in butter -- absolutely sensational), Lamb Sweetbreads (I don't normally like sweetbreads, but these were quite good -- I imagine anyone who loved sweetbreads would go crazy), and "Country Style" Chicken Liver (steamed in butter with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and roasted peppers -- if I liked liver, I probably would have loved these -- sauce was great -- I just had a second serving of the beef tongue).

    Salads: Shopska (chunks of tomato, cucumber, roasted peppers, onions, parsley, and shredded feta cheese) and "Snow White," ice cream scoops of cucumber and walnuts in heavy, rich Bulgarian yogurt.

    Main courses - Chorbadgiski Sach (yowza! -- chicken breast cooked with thick bacon, onions, mushrooms, and potatoes, with cheese on top -- smoky, bacony -- a little salty, with all the bacon, dill pickles, and cheese, but just great), Chicken Mushrooms (chicken breast smothered in mushroom sauce -- again, a bit salty, but delicious -- though it paled in comparison to the bacon grease-soaked delight of the previous dish), and Tatarsko Kufte ("meat balls" the size of about 1/3 meatloaf -- ground fine, more like fine sausage meat -- a blend of pork and "other meats" -- stuffed with cheese -- very tasty and worth trying, but if you only get one dish, this might not be the best choice).

    For dessert, we had a very pleasant cream caramel and Dobush cake (essentially the cinnamon-flavored Bulgarian take on the Hungarian Dobosh torte).

    I want to go back for the potatoes and beef tongue, the "snow white," and the Chorbadgiski Sach. Desserts were lovely and delicious, but I'm not much of a dessert person, so I'd probably save myself for seconds on beef tongue again.

    Mehanata
    1141 Lee St.
    Des Plains, IL
    847-824-0100

    This is just north of the corner of Lee (45/12) and Algonquin Rd., or just south of where Graceland runs into/becomes Lee and Mannheim Rd. The restaurant has no parking, but there is a strip mall with a 7/11 next door (south side of restaurant) where most of the businesses are closed at night, so there is abundant parking. There is also a strip mall across the street.

    Place was packed -- clearly a big place for celebrations among members of the Bulgarian community.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #2 - February 15th, 2010, 4:29 pm
    Post #2 - February 15th, 2010, 4:29 pm Post #2 - February 15th, 2010, 4:29 pm
    Thanks for this report, Cynthia. It sounds like the kind of food my mom would really enjoy, and I'm always short on ideas of where to take her to eat when I visit her in Des Plaines. I look forward to giving Mehanata a try.
  • Post #3 - February 16th, 2010, 2:39 pm
    Post #3 - February 16th, 2010, 2:39 pm Post #3 - February 16th, 2010, 2:39 pm
    Terrific restaurant, with intriguing cuisine. The service is friendly, too (not that "What are you doing here?" stare you get at some ex-Soviet hangouts).

    Daily Herald review.

    Let me know when you're thinking of going back, Cynthia. I'd love an excuse to return.
  • Post #4 - February 17th, 2010, 9:55 pm
    Post #4 - February 17th, 2010, 9:55 pm Post #4 - February 17th, 2010, 9:55 pm
    Nice review, LAZ. Sounds like you enjoyed it as much as I did.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #5 - November 4th, 2018, 12:05 pm
    Post #5 - November 4th, 2018, 12:05 pm Post #5 - November 4th, 2018, 12:05 pm
    LAZ wrote:Let me know when you're thinking of going back, Cynthia. I'd love an excuse to return.
    seeing this too late, I was with a group of 14 who dined at Restaurant Mehanata last night. This said, I suggest an LTH dinner at Restaurant Mehanata sometime soon as after the meal last night, I'm very much looking to going again.

    While the DJ comes on at 9:30pm on Saturday night and that is when restaurant gets crowded, our group showed up at 5:30pm on a Saturday night and only a few other tables were occupied. TO NOTE PER Cynthia's comment re Parking: parking is not readily available at this restaurant, there is a strip mall to the south of the restaurant (NE corner of Algonquin & Lee), this strip mall parking lot allows Mehanata diners to park in spots adjacent to Lee & Algonquin). The lot across the street has a sign "no parking for Mehanata" but I'm not sure how well that is enforced.

    Our starters were:
    sauteed mushrooms
    breaded yogurt
    country style chicken livers
    sauteed chicken hearts
    combination plate of dry-cured Meat

    I'd say skip the dry cured meat, it was fine but there are too many other starter goodies to order.

    I didn't order the breaded yogurt but wow it was terrific, a light golden crust, the yogurt near the crust was warm gooey, almost like goat cheese, then the center was still cool. Loved it.

    Also loved the chicken liver as well as the chicken hearts.

    Our group also had the Shopska salad Cynthia mentioned and it was a delicious break during the meat heavy meal.

    Main courses
    Sach
    Combo grill - 2 types of sausage, pork chops, burger patties, chicken & beef kebabs, chicken thighs

    While I very much enjoyed the main courses, I think next time I'd focus on some of the other starters (as well as ones mentioned above) and then move to other entrees on the menu.

    I'm more of a savory guy than a dessert person but the fig cake with mascarpone cheese was indeed quite tasty.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #6 - November 4th, 2018, 10:16 pm
    Post #6 - November 4th, 2018, 10:16 pm Post #6 - November 4th, 2018, 10:16 pm
    Glad to hear it's still good. Haven't been in a while -- but I'd still love to go back.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #7 - November 4th, 2018, 11:31 pm
    Post #7 - November 4th, 2018, 11:31 pm Post #7 - November 4th, 2018, 11:31 pm
    Sweet Willie wrote:Main courses

    Combo grill - 2 types of sausage, pork chops, burger patties, chicken & beef kebabs, chicken thighs

    I commonly refer to this as The Festival of Meat. :)

    Serbian’s do this as well.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon

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