Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Chicago Dining World Tour: Beholding the Armenian Burrito

Siunik Armenian Grill
1707 Chestnut Ave., Glenview

What I ate: Steak Kabob wrap with various toppings

This is undoubtedly more than you need to know about Siunik Armenian Grill, but I feel compelled to mention that it resides in the building that used to house fRedhots & Fries, a gourmet sausage emporium--à la Hot Dougs--that I used to visit.

Its location in Glenview is across the street from Pizano's, one of my favorite pizza places, and Siunik used to have a location in Skokie.

I actually came across it through Yelp in looking for an alternative to Pita Inn--a terrific Mediterranean restaurant on Dempster in Skokie--which is always packed to the point of not easily finding a parking spot or a table during lunchtime. A listing for Siunik on Oakton in Skokie came up, but their website indicates that they are now only in Glenview, which I confirmed with the owner, a friendly guy named Levon who runs the place with help from his mom.

Given that "Armenian Grill" is part of the restaurant's name, I think it sufficiently counts as representing the cuisine of Armenia for my Chicago Dining World Tour.

But as Levon explained, his primary offering is more his own concoction than expressly similar to what is found in Armenia.

Basically beginning with a traditional Armenian wrap on flatbread (lavash) or onion sumac, with a choice of ground beef (lula), chicken, steak, pork or red beans, Siunik then invites customers to choose a side, salad and topping to add into the wrap, essentially creating what Levon called an "Armenian burrito."

I went with a Steak Kabob wrap on lavash, with rice pilaf, house salad and hummus added into the mix.

It was quite good.

And not altogether unlike a burrito, albeit with unique flavorings and terrifically tender cubes of steak.

My friend Ken, once again joining me for a gastro-ethnic adventure, went with the Lunch Special for $4.95.

This included one lula kabob (i.e. ground beef), two pieces of chicken and two pieces of steak, with rice pilaf, house salad and hummus. This came as a plate, not a wrap, and included pieces of fresh pita bread.

Ken declared this also to be very good, and as with other ethnic restaurants we have visited together, he is planning a return visit to Siunik in the near future.

We both topped off our delicious meals with a piece of Honey Cake, which was also rather savory without being overly sweet or heavy. (photo below)

Also including a pair of Diet Cokes, the two of us got out of there for under $20.

Not bad for a unique, filling and tremendously tasty meal, with Levon amiably checking on our satisfaction and genuine thanking us for our visit.

So while noting that Siunik Armenian Grill isn't where Yelp says it is (as of this writing), it is very much worth finding--and enjoying.

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