The Vegetarian Option: Vegetarian Platter at Old Jerusalem Restaurant
The vegetarian combination platter ($11.95) at Old Jerusalem in Old Town allows you to sample five of the restaurant's vegetarian options at once. Sure, hommos, tebouleh salad, Old Jerusalem salad, baba ghanouj, and falafil are all available on their own as appetizers or entrees with Lebanese bread, but for an indecisive or first-time visitor, the platter is a great way to discover what you like.
My favorite was the Old Jerusalem salad, a creamy mix of diced tomatoes, cucumber chunks, and parsley dressed with tahina and olive oil. The falafil had a crunchier and thicker exterior than I am used to, but the inside was light and fluffy to contrast. The hommos was also very good, much fresher and creamier than Sabra's version with Stacy's pita chips, which seemed to have been passed out every week last summer along Michigan Avenue.
A couple of vegetarian dishes are not available as part of the combo platter—namely, foul, a fava bean mixture with lemon and garlic, and moudardara, which features steamed rice and lentils with roasted onion and yogurt. I'll have to try each when I next have the chance.