Shokran Moroccan Grill: mini-review

We have a weakness for Moroccan grub. The exotic and sultry native spices don’t hurt, but we are absolute suckers for the fruit, nuts, and honey that show up in most every dish. Shokran’s hospitable owner, Khalid Kamal, offers all that and more in his comfy BYO located a walnut’s toss from the Blue Line in Old Irving Park. “Moroccan cooking is all about finding the right balance between sweet and savory,” Kamal says. One nibble of delicate bastila, a flaky phyllo packet filled with shredded chicken, hard-cooked egg, and crushed roasted almonds, then dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon ($6), offers unique proof. Bountiful entrées stay on track, particularly the tagines, which dramatically arrive in traditional turban-shaped earthenware casseroles. Be sure to sample tender, succulent lamb fez tagine, revved with prunes, almonds, honey, and hard-boiled eggs ($16), or saffron-tinted chicken breast set off by tangy olives and yummy sliced potato crisps ($14). A variety of grilled kebabs are on tap, too, as are delightfully fluffy couscous dishes, ranging from a veggie version to one showcasing rugged merguez made in-house ($15). Baklava and fresh mint tea make for a sweetly appropriate ending. 4027 W. Irving Park Rd.; 773-427-9130.

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