The suburbs just south and west of Midway Airport are home to the metro area’s most vibrant Arab American community, and its members show up in droves at this casual Turkish import to feast on fall-apart-tender barbecue-smoked halal meat. The party starts as soon as you enter the door and one of the cleaver-wielding Salt Baes behind the counter begins plying you with tastes of beef brisket or lamb neck. Together you’ll decide on the right fresh-from-the-smoker cut for your crew — a whole lamb shoulder for a family of six, some lamb ribs for a couple — and he will theatrically torch it and fling handfuls of baharat spice over its sizzling surface. If you can stop drooling long enough to make it to the table, it will follow shortly on a platter with potatoes, roasted peppers, and herbs. The accompanying rice, salad, and dipping sauces are mostly forgettable. No matter. Kids run around, the fountain sodas flow, friends greet each other, joy is everywhere. 7909 S. Harlem Ave.
8 Meat Moot