-Grubbing in Chicago
Falafel and Burgers in Uptown
The year is 2023 but it’ll be a few months before new restaurants start to establish themselves among the years best openings. So for now I'm still catching up with some of the spots that came along back in 2022. Today we head to Uptown to check out Ragadan, a passion project from a veteran Chicago restaurant chef whose parents immigrated to Oklahoma from Jordan. The menu at Ragadan is a mix of Middle Eastern and American comfort foods - falafel and burgers in particular.
We’ll start with the falafel because a great one is something the city has lacked (the best area to find deep fried balls of chickpeas is the Southwest suburbs). A couple things that stand out about the falafel at Ragadan are 1) it’s fried to order and 2) it can be ordered as a Ka’ak sandwich where it comes served with hummus, pickle, tomato, tahini and parsley sauce in a fresh sesame seeded roll. It’s a great change of pace from the typical pita used to make falafel sandwiches elsewhere but you can get their excellent Jordanian spiced falafel in a pita too if that’s what you like. They also make a stuffed falafel which more spots are starting to do. Ragadan fills theirs with sumac grilled onions.
As good as the sandwich is the burgers also deserve a taste and just like the falafel ka'ak they’re not your standard offerings. Fresh patties of beef are lightly smashed and dressed with traditional toppings infused with a bit of middle eastern flavor. The Dan Burger is a toasted bun with shoor pickles, chopped onion, ketchup, mustard, and zatar mayo. I went with a double and it was a fantastic chef driven burger in that it didn’t sway too far from the classics as far as toppings go. Also of note is a kick ass baklava milkshake loaded with chunks of phyllo dough mixed with chopped nuts and honey. Uptown got a good one. The neighborhood has had some cool spots open up shop of late.
4409 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
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