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Yazor Kabob — Jerusalem-Style Palestinian Food

Yazor Kabob — Jerusalem-Style Palestinian Food
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  • Yazor Kabob — Jerusalem-Style Palestinian Food

    Post #1 - January 6th, 2013, 7:19 pm
    Post #1 - January 6th, 2013, 7:19 pm Post #1 - January 6th, 2013, 7:19 pm
    It's a shame that Sheeba, the area's best Yemeni restaurant, closed but the space at 91st & Harlem in Bridgeview has been taken over by a fairly interesting restaurant. Yazor Kabob serves Jerusalem-style Palestinian food, not that I have much idea what distinguishes that cuisine. As the restaurant's name suggests, the menu is skewed toward skewered food.

    We started with a generous assortment of complementary cold dishes.

    Image

    A salad of soft carrot pieces marinated in spicy oil was particularly appealing. Toum and torshi were both good but nothing out of the ordinary. Turkish salad, a tomatoey red puree, was a pleasant surprise but became too sweet for my taste after a few bites. Oddest was the mushroom and corn salad that would be right at home on a Polish buffet table. Overall, I really enjoyed the spread, a most welcome relief from the usual Middle Eastern appetizers.

    I'm a fan of freekah so was happy to see it appear in one of Yazor's soups.

    Image

    This fire-dried green wheat with its smoky flavor and chewy texture is a seriously underappreciated ingredient. The broth might not stand on its own but overall a very enjoyable bowl.

    Much of the menu seems to be standard kabobs, with little that stands out as Palestinian, much less Jerusalem-style Palestinian (or maybe I'm simply showing my ignorance). We tried a combination plate with samples of four kabobs and were pretty happy.

    Image

    Although little was unusual, everything seemed carefully prepared, including the rice. I don't know that I'd make a special trip specifically for the kabobs but the whole meal, especially the complementary mezze, was quite pleasant and somewhat out of the ordinary.

    Yazor Kabob
    9052 S Harlem Av
    Bridgeview IL
    708-599-0012

    Yazor Kabob Menu
    Image Image Image Image Image
  • Post #2 - January 6th, 2013, 9:11 pm
    Post #2 - January 6th, 2013, 9:11 pm Post #2 - January 6th, 2013, 9:11 pm
    Will try it next time I'm in Bridgeview.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #3 - January 7th, 2013, 3:26 pm
    Post #3 - January 7th, 2013, 3:26 pm Post #3 - January 7th, 2013, 3:26 pm
    I don't think "Jerusalem-style" indicates anything so much as the type of cuisine you'd find at an "urban" restaurant in one of Palestine's (relatively) large cities - Nablus, Al-Khalil (Hebron) and Al-Muqadissa/Al-Quds (the blessed, Jerusalem). Insofar as Palestinian village life is concerned, there really are no restaurants to speak of, so any Palestinian place serving kabobs and the like would be similarly urban. Jerusalem is/was more cosmopolitan than other Palestinian cities, so Turkish salad, the marinated carrots (Turkish/Armenian?) and even the whiteboy salad are indicative of those influences, but some of those dishes would not be uncommon in, say, Nablus, where I have eaten a few of them. Just as well, "Jerusalem-Style" may indicate the regional affiliation of the proprietors. Looks like an interesting place with some dishes we don't see in Pali menus too often here. Too bad Sheeba passed, though; Yemeni food is da bomb (or da unmanned drone, as the case may be).
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #4 - January 8th, 2013, 9:33 am
    Post #4 - January 8th, 2013, 9:33 am Post #4 - January 8th, 2013, 9:33 am
    Funny this post would appear this week. I was also in the area recently and found myself intrigued by the "Jerusalem Style" description on the sign there. Intrigued enough to pick up a menu. I will note that the daily special was not on the menu but written in Arabic on a chalkboard. Also, the bakery in the same strip mall, Prince, was exceedingly good.

    Getting back to Jerusalem style, I highly doubt there is a connection, but surely "Jerusalem" food got a lot of publicity last fall with the publication of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's book of the same name--as an aside, as much as I thought I'd love that book, I found I like Salma Hage's Lebanese Kitchen much better. Ottolenghi does include a recipe for the one item (that I know of) with Jerusalem in its name, Jerusalem grill, which in Jerusalem is a mix-up of various chicken parts with a good dose of spices.

    More, on this forum a bit back, there was a disscussion of the differences between Israeli restaurants and "Middle Eastern" places. In my experiences, Isreali restaurants provide an experience, not better or worse, but different than other Middle Eastern restaurants. Yet that array of salads, including one with canned corn, remind me much of Israeli restaurants (really). So, maybe there is something more to Jerusalem style than religious/ethnic differences.

    And it's always worth pointing out what a treasure this part of Chicagoland is for chow. While Dearborn has a few places more grand in design or offerings, I know of no New Yaseem Bakery yet around here, I really think the greater Bridgeview area can match pretty well.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #5 - January 8th, 2013, 3:34 pm
    Post #5 - January 8th, 2013, 3:34 pm Post #5 - January 8th, 2013, 3:34 pm
    Vital Information wrote:Funny this post would appear this week. I was also in the area recently and found myself intrigued by the "Jerusalem Style" description on the sign there. Intrigued enough to pick up a menu. I will note that the daily special was not on the menu but written in Arabic on a chalkboard. Also, the bakery in the same strip mall, Prince, was exceedingly good.

    Getting back to Jerusalem style, I highly doubt there is a connection, but surely "Jerusalem" food got a lot of publicity last fall with the publication of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's book of the same name--as an aside, as much as I thought I'd love that book, I found I like Salma Hage's Lebanese Kitchen much better. Ottolenghi does include a recipe for the one item (that I know of) with Jerusalem in its name, Jerusalem grill, which in Jerusalem is a mix-up of various chicken parts with a good dose of spices.

    More, on this forum a bit back, there was a disscussion of the differences between Israeli restaurants and "Middle Eastern" places. In my experiences, Isreali restaurants provide an experience, not better or worse, but different than other Middle Eastern restaurants. Yet that array of salads, including one with canned corn, remind me much of Israeli restaurants (really). So, maybe there is something more to Jerusalem style than religious/ethnic differences.

    And it's always worth pointing out what a treasure this part of Chicagoland is for chow. While Dearborn has a few places more grand in design or offerings, I know of no New Yaseem Bakery yet around here, I really think the greater Bridgeview area can match pretty well.


    That book just got mentioned in one of the Israeli English-language newspaper websites - I want to say Haaretz -and they mentioned how J'lem Mixed Grill was made, and the kind of organ meats. It's a little too over the top for my tastes, but YMMV.

    The Israeli restaurant in Chicago that did the corn and mushroom salad was the late, great Manghal (OK, it was actually on the Evanston side of Howard, but close enough). It used to be part of their "Festival of Salads", which was the closest thing to what you actually get at actual restaurants in Israel. You'll sometimes get as many as a dozen mini-salads, at both Jewish and Arab restaurants. I remember going to Diana in Nazareth, where they had something like six different tahini-based salads, at least. I was thinking of them when I saw the picture of the salads from Yazor.

    This actually sounds worth trying as an alternative to Chickpea; what's the Yazor Kabob? And freekeh soup - yum! Is that chicken in the picture that started the thread?
  • Post #6 - January 8th, 2013, 3:50 pm
    Post #6 - January 8th, 2013, 3:50 pm Post #6 - January 8th, 2013, 3:50 pm
    sdrucker wrote:That book just got mentioned in one of the Israeli English-language newspaper websites - I want to say Haaretz -and they mentioned how J'lem Mixed Grill was made, and the kind of organ meats.


    It was also featured quite prominently in Saveur about a year ago, give or take.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #7 - January 8th, 2013, 4:12 pm
    Post #7 - January 8th, 2013, 4:12 pm Post #7 - January 8th, 2013, 4:12 pm
    interesting - I seldom disagree with habibi, but I will suggest two things

    there are a lot of village based resteraunts - sort of like garden type places, in the arab parts of israel, the palestinian territories and jordan. there are a few villages that do a good part of thier income from city people coming out to eat on the weekends. that said, I can't think of anything that really would make a jerusalem place that much different from a place in the countryside of the gallalee or a village on the shore, aside from specific local reciepies.

    a lot of food in the middle east is sort of sub-classified as lebanese. if you asked a lebanese person, they might tell you that the food in the picture is a sub-set of lebanese. a lot of the food that is very specifically palestinian is possibly more labor intensive/time consuming like stews and rice/meat dishes cooked together. kababs are actually relativly simple compared to some of that stuff.
  • Post #8 - January 8th, 2013, 7:24 pm
    Post #8 - January 8th, 2013, 7:24 pm Post #8 - January 8th, 2013, 7:24 pm
    As usual, I disagree. Perhaps I'm only speaking for the villages in the West Bank, but restaurants, even informal ones, are rare in the smaller villages where much of Palestinian life takes place. I'm not sure what the numbers are with respect to rural v urban palestinians, though I am nearly sure that the former is more populous. What do you consider a village? Maybe that's where we disagree. Jenin is not really a village, neither is Al-Bireh, in my view, anyway. In any case, many villages have a lot of informal, smaller, cafes and eateries, but not really restaurants, certainly not ones with long, or even any, menus.

    With respect to Lebanese considering all or most Middle Eastern food to be Lebanese, that is their opinion, and they are entitled to it, but it is not a statement of fact. Show the above picture to some Palestinians or Syrians or Israelis and they might say the same thing with respect to ownership of the dishes and food traditions. It's certainly Levantine, and definitely influenced by the Ottomans, and in Israel, the European Jews who colonized/settled the Palestinian territories.

    In any case, go forth, eat.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #9 - January 8th, 2013, 9:00 pm
    Post #9 - January 8th, 2013, 9:00 pm Post #9 - January 8th, 2013, 9:00 pm
    Funny, how this Post- typifies the continued conflict in The Middle East.
    ONE PERSON (The OP ) had actually been to Yazor's Kabob- the original
    intent of this Post.
    Yet- all the rest of the comments are about the varying beliefs in who made the
    Fallafel first (insert baba ganoush,hummous, etc :D )- why theirs is better ,and
    my-Dad-can-kick-your-Dad's-Ass!
  • Post #10 - January 8th, 2013, 9:56 pm
    Post #10 - January 8th, 2013, 9:56 pm Post #10 - January 8th, 2013, 9:56 pm
    I rarely agree with this guy either. This typifies nothing about the Middle East other than people enjoy the region's food and are passionate to talk about it. We are adding to Rene G's wonderful first post with some insight. Nothing more.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #11 - January 8th, 2013, 11:29 pm
    Post #11 - January 8th, 2013, 11:29 pm Post #11 - January 8th, 2013, 11:29 pm
    Insights are always welcomed, and the polite disagreements here don't seem bellicose (have you seen the barbecue threads?). Further exploration of the emerging tangent, however, can be started on Beyond Chicagoland or Other Culinary Chat if desired. One possible region-specific place is here.

    Santander
    for the moderators
  • Post #12 - January 9th, 2013, 9:39 am
    Post #12 - January 9th, 2013, 9:39 am Post #12 - January 9th, 2013, 9:39 am
    Hi,

    I happened to be along for this visit to Yazor Kabob. When I saw 'Jerusalem style,' I was anticipating it was Israeli food. Once we sat down and apprised the situation, I quietly commented, "This is food from the other side of town." We all have our frame-of-reference, clearly I made some assumptions before I walked in the door.

    It was a pleasant dining experience. One I will repeat the next time Mushroom Club has a meeting nearby, especially for the mushroom-corn salad.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #13 - January 9th, 2013, 9:49 pm
    Post #13 - January 9th, 2013, 9:49 pm Post #13 - January 9th, 2013, 9:49 pm
    Habibi wrote:As usual, I disagree. Perhaps I'm only speaking for the villages in the West Bank, but restaurants, even informal ones, are rare in the smaller villages where much of Palestinian life takes place. I'm not sure what the numbers are with respect to rural v urban palestinians, though I am nearly sure that the former is more populous. What do you consider a village? Maybe that's where we disagree. Jenin is not really a village, neither is Al-Bireh, in my view, anyway. In any case, many villages have a lot of informal, smaller, cafes and eateries, but not really restaurants, certainly not ones with long, or even any, menus.

    .



    this is the type of thing that I was thinking about, and of course Abu Ghosh village,

    https://www.facebook.com/ezba.rest/info ... /ezba.rest

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