Though not nearly as ubiquitous as a gyros, grilled chicken on a pita is a standard menu item at loads of restaurants in Chicago. But whereas I've come to appreciate the mass-produced meat on occasion, grilled chicken, even the kebob option, basically never works. The main problem is almost always the chicken, which is tough, dry, and bland—a trifecta of disappointment that no amount of white sauce can ever correct. Luckily, one bite of the chicken breast shish kebob at The Athenian Room changed all that.
The marinated meat is freshly grilled to order, so that it stays juicy and well seasoned. It's stuffed into a fluffy and soft pita, along with crunchy onion and slices of bright red tomato. The white sauce served along the side is better than most versions I've sampled, but I also loved adding a smear of extra creamy hummus, which you can order as an appetizer. If only other places took the same care with their versions. Until they do, I'll just have to keep going back to the Athenian Room to get it done right.
807 West Webster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614 (map)