Restaurant Mehanata offers traditional Bulgarian cuisine in Chicago

The restaurant Mehanata offers traditional Bulgarian cuisine in Chicago, or to exact in one of the Chicago suburbs, Des Plaines, Illinois. The online reviews are generally positive. I have been there 2-3 times and the reviews are accurate. However, the acoustic is poor and the place can get really loud. Please note, restaurant Mehanata has a completely different atmosphere from the avant-garde bar Mehanata in New York City.

Here are some items from the menu:

http://www.restaurantmehanata.com/Menu.html

Location:

1141 Lee Str, Des Plaines, IL 60016


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Here are some excerpts from an Urbanspoon review:

Traditional Bulgarian Delight! As I understand it, (and totally enjoyed it) most Bulgarian meals begin with a salad without lettuce and with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and using Bulgarian Feta, which is a creamy subtle version that is delicious! The specialty here is the rich and very hearty stews cooked in earthenware pots. There seems to be a big Turkish or Greek influence, and everything is delicious. Mehanata has a wonderful atmosphere, very homey and comfortable with very good service. You have to understand though that typical Bulgarian service does not include hovering over your table or repeated visits from your waitstaff once the food and drinks have been served. It's very laid back and ultimately relaxing. Wonderful experience.

Salads are part of every Bulgarian meal, from the classic shopska salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted red pepper, green onions, parsley, covered with grated white-brined cheese) to a simple green salad with fresh radishes and cucumber.

Bulgarian cuisine includes a variety of meat preparation: slow roasted, cured and smoked, grilled and baked. A staple "meze" is the hard, spicy, horseshoe-shaped and flattened beef or pork sudjuk (dried, smoked pork sausage).

One of Mehanata's specialties is the "shashlutsi", a pair of swordlike, crisscrossed metal skewers stabbing chunks of smoky pork and chicken.

Kebabcheta are kebabs of ground meat seasoned with cumin and molded into long sausagelike shapes. Karnacheta are thinner version of the same. Kufteta are meatball-shaped ground beef and pork patties with parsley, onion, and beaten egg.

Seafood is popular around the Black Sea, particularly fresh mussels and fish. Mackerel, in 3 forms, grilled, dried and smoked is also popular.

Many believe that white-brined cheese ("feta"-type) and yogurt, which dates to 3,000 BC,  originated in the lands of what is now Bulgaria.

Kashkaval is yellow sheep's cheese sometimes referred to as the cheddar of the Balkans.

Banitsa is filo dough layered like a lasagna with white-brined cheese and beaten egg and brushed with melted butter. A sweeter adaptation called tikvenik (from tikva, pumpkin) is made by filling rolls of phyllo dough with roasted pumpkin and walnuts, then covering it with powdered sugar.

Traditional bean stews are prepared with a favorite herb such as mint. Tarator, a perfect summer starter, is a chilled creation of yogurt, cucumber, dill, garlic, and chopped walnuts. Tripe soup, offal slowly simmered for hours in milk and water with red chile peppers and doused with a garnish of vinegar and chopped garlic, will cure any hangover.

Roasted vegetables are taken to another level with luitenitsa, a roasted red-pepper-and-tomato spread that's low in calories and perfect with white-brined cheese on toasted bread. Kiopoolu, similar to baba ghanoush but much darker, is another favorite dip—diced, garlicky roasted eggplant with roasted red pepper, olive oil, and parsley.

A myriad of grape varieties are grown in Bulgaria to make traditional wines like muscat, traminer, and mavrud. Wines made from worldwide varieties such as cabernet, merlot, etc. are also popular.

Rakia is a grape or plum brandy, which can be found in innumerable homemade and commercial versions.

Another restaurant that offers Bulgarian cuisine in the Chicago area is Tasty World, 4834 N Cumberland Ave, Norridge, IL 60706:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/tasty-world-norridge

Related:

Restaurant Mehanata - Des Plaines, IL - Yelp http://goo.gl/7f0fI
Mehanata Restaraunt - Des Plaines | Urbanspoon  http://goo.gl/D4se6
4TH Anniversary Mehanata Restaurant - Chicago - YouTube http://bit.ly/TIOYeF
Защо кюфтето стана гражданин - trud.bg http://bit.ly/181EcEu
https://www.facebook.com/Mehanata.Chicago
Mehanata: The Bulgarian table, from sudjuk to shopska | Chicago Reader http://buff.ly/1cKqxEr

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