Monday, December 19, 2011

Sultan's Market

Location: 2521 N Clark
Cost: About $7 per person

My friend Kate was doing some important foodie based work assignment in Lincoln Park the other day and asked if I wanted to meet her for lunch. She started giving me criteria for a place to go. She said that asian would be alright, that it should be cheap, that it should be near the Clark and Wrightwood area, and that sandwiches would be good. I took this as her subtle way of saying she wanted to go to Del Seoul. Those french fries still give me nightmares so I suggested that we hit up another cheap sandwich spot nearby. That's how we ended up at Sultan's Market.

Sultan's Market is a bit south of where we originally aimed at Clark and Deming. It's a very typical order at the counter operation. They have a very small dining area that seats maybe 15 people. It seems like they do a majority of their business serving a hurried lunch crowd, but it's still acceptable to plop down with your laptop and a falafel. They also have a very well stocked salad bar that may have been the most popular option while we were there.

The service was very efficient. We got our soup and sandwiches in a matter of 5 to 10 minutes. It's not like any of these things take a while to make, but it was still appreciated that we didn't wait around. The price is super cheap. A falafel sandwich is $3.75, the shawerma is $5.75, and the soups are $2-3. The portions are plenty large even without considering how cheap it is.

The Food
We got things going by splitting a bowl of Grandma Zarifa's Lentil Soup and a Spinach Pie. The soup was thick and had a nice, lumpy texture from the lentils. It's rather similar to the split pea over at Capt'n Nemos. The spinach pie was very doughy and had a creamy filling. I think there could have been a better ratio of filling to dough, but the flavors were all in order.

Grandma Zafira's Lentil Soup

 The Spinach Pie

Then Kate got the Falafel while I ordered the Lamb Shawerma. The both came overfilled with Jerusalem salad, hummus, tahini, and some spicy veggie mixture. The shawerma had a really pleasant spice rub although I couldn't place the key players. The pita was warm and fluffy which contrasted well with the textured bite of lamb. The hummus was very creamy and collected itself at the bottom of my pita. This is like the Middle Eastern version of those Nestle ice cream cones with the thick chocolate fudge at the bottom. Kate's falafel was very well done. I wish they were served warm, but besides that they were spot on. There was a nice fried texture exteriorly, and it wasn't too dry which is often an issue.

The Lamb Shawerma

 The Falafel

I'm not saying this was the best falafel and shawerma ever, but it was pretty great. The portions were large, and the food was really cheap. The spicing on the shawerma is what really won me over though. For those of you in that part of Lincoln Park, I think this place has a big leg up on Nesh. I'm giving them 4 out of 5 Pearls.

Sultan's Market on Urbanspoon


  1. I really, really enjoy Sultan's (I go to the one in Wicker Park/Bucktown) -- it's a regular stop for me -- but recently "Falafel & Grill" opened up on Milwaukee and Paulina, much closer to where I work. The falafel sandwich there is, in my opinion, just as good as Sultan's, and the pricing is the same. Their homemade tzatziki is also extra tangy.