[Photograph: Eric Singerman]

The last time I was at The Nile it was the first night at the restaurant's new Hyde Park location. At the time they were still getting their footing, but now they're solidly in the swing of things, cranking out reliable Middle Eastern fare. The outdoor patio is strung with lanterns, creating probably the closest thing you're going to get to the Middle East in Hyde Park. I spent a few months in Israel a few months ago, and almost all the falafel, hummus, or shawarma that I've had since then has fallen flat. That said, the Nile's chicken shawarma ($6.00) is probably the best I've had since getting back to the States.

Shawarma often has the potential to leave you heavy and bogged down afterwards, but the abundance of vegetables in the pita kept this from happening. The chicken was juicy and paired well with the other ingredients of the sandwich. The crisp onion played well off the richness of the meat and the acidity of the tomato.


However, the lamb shawarma ($6.99) was a bit dry. More tahini would have been nice to tie all the flavors together and make up for a little dryness in the meat. Otherwise, all the ingredients combined well into a filling sandwich.

The Nile Restaurant

The Nile Restaurant

  • Hyde Park

1162 E 55th St Chicago IL 60615 773-324-9499

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