So Eliza Frye’s in town and we spent the day tromping around Chicago, taking her fabulous book to a bunch of comic book stores. After hitting Alleycat, we were feeling a little hungry and in need of a rest.
“There’s an Algerian crepe restaurant on the corner,” I told Eliza.
“How do you remember where all of these restaurants are?” she asked. I… I don’t know. The same way my little brother remembered every dinosaur’s Latin name when he was nine, I guess. This is the information that’s important to me, the stuff that sticks in my head.
Anyway, I’d gotten takeout from Icosium once, and I remembered liking it, but it was nothing compared to eating in the restaurant. It’s a sweet, intimate little place, very charming, ornate but not intimidating, and super friendly. The vegetable soup – I was told it had butternut squash, potato, sweet potato, onions and garlic and other things in it – was absolutely perfect, much milder than I was expecting from an Algerian place, and delicately spiced. It was just pureed vegetables and spices, they said, no cream or anything, and it really didn’t need it. The crepe came out decorated with pomegranate seeds, pear and melon and orange slices. The merguez – that’s a special kind of spicy lamb sausage from North Africa – was distinct and powerful without being overwhelming, and the sweetness of the caramelized onions and pomegranate offset it perfectly. The fresh mint leaves on everything was a really nice touch, too. Highly recommend!
If you’re in Chicago, we’ll be at Challengers Comics on Friday, Dec 30! Eliza will be signing copies of her book Regalia, and she’ll have a lot of prints and other little goodies as well. Come on down and say hi!