Tag Archives: Algeria

Eating North Africa: Makroud

Today someone at work returned from northern France with a treat from North Africa, Makroud/Makrout. Makrouds are sweet date pastries, made with semolina flour and dipped in honey, that (perhaps surprisingly) are not overly sweet. There are several varieties of Makroud across regions, including the makroud blanc (without a filling), and makrouds filled with almonds instead of dates. Naturally, due to immigration patterns, this delicious pastry has gotten a foothold in France. Apparently the French are a fan of not-sickly-sweet pastries, so the makroud fits the bill perfectly.

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Algerian crepes in Chicago: Icosium Kafé

Icosium Kafé
5200 N Clark St
Chicago, IL

Wandering around Andersonville on a gloomy Saturday put us in the mood for a pick me up. One Eater (L) had previously been to the other branch of the Icosium Kafe in Lincoln Park (2433 N. Clark), so we were surprised to find thcimg0153small.jpge new location up north. The sign outside the advertised home-made crepes all day, and we took full advantage. We knew Icosium would we good when they put cucumber slices in our water in place of the all-too-common lemon. Our first glance at the menu told us it was actually all crepes, which was fine with us after we fell in love with the French culinary delight following a few good crepe eats in Paris and Philadelphia. The menu had a large selection of a la carte and make your own crepes – M finally decided on a crepe d’amour ($6.95), filled with dark chocolate and fresh raspberries. It came with a complimentary scoop of chocolate ice cream (free for us even though the menu said $2). When the crepe finally came we could see why the wait was a little longer than most cheap crepe eateries – the presentation. Chocolate, whipped cream, and strawberry sauce applied in artistic lines and dots all around the plate, topped off with a mini drink umbrella stuck into the crepe’s end. The taste matched the presentation: berries were fresh, chocolate just right, and the crepe thick enough to be substantial eating and fluffy enough to absorb all the chocolaty goodness.

Algerian TeaThe menu was full of more sweet and savory crepe options, including both traditional varieties, and ones that hinted more at the Cafe’s Algerian heritage with fillings like Halal Merguaz (Algerian lamb sausage), homemade olive tapenade and Algerian fruit compote (raisins, pears and rosewater). L opted for the Algerian Mint tea with honey ($2.50) which also held up the high presentation standards. The tea was presented in a tiny silver teapot with an elegant glass cup and saucer filled with fresh mint leaves. The drink menu also boasted organic Turkish coffee and Egyptian mango juice. The service was pretty laid-back and unobtrusive (in true cafe style), and the dining room is cute, with wooden cafe tables, and walls covered with Algerian textiles and metalwork. Definitely a good stop for a tasty, filling lunch or dinner.

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