First, let's digress from the point here and start with a little background. No matter what city I've lived in -- and I've lived in a few -- I've always managed to find a place that makes awesome chicken noodle soup so that when I'm sick, all I have to do is show up with my red nose and not only do I get a little soup, I also receive a healthy does of pity from whomever is working at the counter.
In St. Paul, Minn., it was Cecils Deli where the chicken broth and matzo ball soup, I believed, had the power to cure. And they were always nice and would even speed up your order if they knew you were feeling lousy.
Here in Chicago, it's Beograd Meat Market, the Serbian place at 2937 W. Irving Park Rd. where the people couldn't be nicer and the soup - vermicelli-like noodles and vegetables swirl in a lightly spiced soup -- couldn't be better.
(They sell the spice pack on the shelves, for those who make the trip and find they've sold out. And trust me, they do. Read on.)
Anyway, Beograd was tonight's destination as I continue in my quest to eat one new food each day in January. With a full crepe menu, the soup and salad tempting, and a page of carnivorous delights, it was hard to decide. Finally, my husband and I opted for the $17 Beograd BBQ Special. While the menu instructs it feeds two, it's actually enough for fivce or six. Among the offerings were chevapchichi (pronounced Shay-vop-she-she) forcemeat or finely ground meat -- typically lightly spiced pork and beef-- made into small sausage links. It is reminiscent, in texture at least, to merguez kefta, although the Mediterranean lamb sausages are much spicier. At Beograd, chevapchichi was served up with soure -- yes with an e -- cream, cucumber and we also got some vegetable puree and wonderful flatbread to go with the meal. For me, it was a chance to make tiny little sandwiches. And with the pork chops, hamburgers, bacon and other sausages, Saturday night's dinner will also be Sunday night's supper. And Monday's lunches.
Makes the fact that they had run out of soup before our arrival a lot more palatable.