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Unlike some people, I've been curious about Muqdisho Grill, the Lakeview Somali place that opened last month in the spot vacated by the unlamented Parmigian. The lot is always packed with cabs, a pretty encouraging sign.
Yesterday seemed like the right time to check it out. Inside, the Parmigian's unfinished paint job remains, and a flat-screen sits under a prayer clock near the back. There's no menu yet but daily offerings of pasta, rice, roasted goat, and broiled fish-- all at once if you like--in large portions at a ridiculously low price.
A fresh green chopped salad with onions preceded the main plates, and set the tone for them. So simple, yet there was just something so wholesome about it all. The starch plate was heaped with to-the-tooth thin spaghetti in a light tomato sauce (reflecting the Italian colonial influence on Somalia) and rice with a hint of saffron and cinnamon. The protein plate was dominated by big chunks of roasted goat shoulder and a piece of broiled flaky fish, along with grilled onions and green pepper. All that fed two for a mere $10.
On the way out we attracted the attention of the owner, who introduced himself, shook hands, and apologized for the limited offerings. He hasn't printed menus yet because he's waiting for a new cook to start and he's not sure of the extent of his repertoire. But he hopes to include Ethiopian and Kenyan dishes along with more Somali offerings. High cab traffic in the neighborhood is what drew him to the spot.
Cash only, and no BYOB, please.
Muqdisho Grill, 2826 N. Lincoln Ave, 773-857-0707