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Restaurant Tue Mar 27 2007
People always recommend Cedars (or Cedars of Lebanon as it was previously known -- that's a story for another post) as the best spot for middle eastern in Hyde Park, but I've always liked The Nile even better. It's a much cheaper and less ambitious restaurant, but the hummus is the best I can remember having anywhere, and the sandwiches are both delicious and massive.
The Nile is located on 55th street in a strip of smallish, inexpensive ethnic restaurants (some of which, eg Snail Thai, are quite good as well). It may be a little out of the way if you're not in or around Hyde Park, but it's also situated quite close to Lake Shore Drive.
If you're like me, you'll go there after work in the afternoon and there will be one waitress working the whole restaurant -- which is fine, because there'll only be one or two other folks there. She'll think you're odd when you order way more appetizers than you can possibly eat (everything is so cheap), but she'll bring them out, one by one, spinach pies, baba ghanoush, hummos, lentil soup, various salads, along with some pita bread (which unfortunately isn't vegan). Then when your falafel or chicken shawarma sandwich shows up you'll end up having to take it home.