Even though Albany Park is an incredibly diverse neighborhood, the food scene isn’t! That may come as a little bit of a shock to some…but the neighborhood spots serves the cuisine that the people want! What you will find is a tremendous amount of Persian food, good Persian food. Upon hearing that some people will get confused “Where is Persia? What kind of food do they eat? Is it like the food served in Iran or Afghanistan?” The answer to those questions clears up a lot. The Persian empire doesn’t exist anymore…but it did at one point. It was huge and it covered many of the areas in the Middle East we know today such as Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. Many of the people that come from these areas and open restaurants will brand there food as being from the country they’re from, but the truth is the food is Persian.
Mohammed Toulabi, manager of the year-old Kabobi Persian and Mediterranean Grill, 4748 N. Kedzie Ave., attempted to create order out of chaos. “It’s all the same food,” he said. “The roots of the food are 100 percent Persian.”
Toulabi, who moved to Chicago from Iran in 2008, said, “We call ourselves Iranian, but when it comes to cuisine … I can’t say Iranian. It’s Persian.”The style of food crosses national and religious boundaries, though there are regional differences, he said.
So use this as not only an opportunity to experience great food from countries and regions you’ve probably never visited, but to also sharpen up your culinary history. Great food can come from anyone and anywhere…an open mind can lead to great times!