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Falafel and Hummus Galore at a Loop Oasis

By Minna A in Food on Jan 7, 2011 8:00PM

Hungry for hummus? Maneuver through the loop lunch traffic to the semi-hidden Middle Eastern favorite Oasis Cafe. It’s only by navigating the aisles of the Chicago Jeweler’s Mall that you’ll find this gem of a lunch spot, nestled amongst some real gems.

Oasis Cafe is unquestionably modest, with just a bare minimum of space and design. There’s just enough seating for the steady and quickly revolving crowds of lunchers, just two pictures hung on their wall and a single neon sign in the back of the building ushers doubtful wanderers into the cafe area.

The menu doesn’t change, with the exception of their rotating list of set “specials”, but doesn’t that just seem to command more respect? Choose from a selection of hummus, falafel, foul (a dish of flavorful fava beans) and grilled meats or kefta (likened to a meatball stick) sandwiches; but don’t miss out on their smokey baba ghanouj, made of smooth roasted eggplant with an aroma of spices filling each bite. Looking for a kick? Oasis Cafe uses their own mixture of veggies and spices to create a hot sauce that’ll heat up any dish.

If you’re looking for a hefty meal, choose one of their daily specials, which is actually a set list of dishes saved for certain days of the week. Each special costs on average less than $7, and comes overflowing and loaded with sides of rice, hummus, falafel and foul. Specials range from spinich and feta stuffed chicken to phyllo-filled Moroccan chicken and spices.

A testament to their lasting and growing popularity, Oasis Cafe opened a second location a few months back, creatively named Oasis Cafe #2.

Oasis Cafe #1 is located at 21 N. Wabash
Oasis Cafe #2 is located at 405 S. Wells