Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Visit To Tik Tok Falafel

Tik Tok Falafel opened a month ago, in the former Alma Pita storefront (Wilson between Magnolia and Malden), but yesterday was the first chance we've had to eat there.  In a word: delicious.  Two big thumbs up for the falafel wrap, and there are many menu items we're looking forward to trying in the future.  The interior has also been redone, with a counter running along the front of the store, and lots of light coming in through the front windows.  Alma Pita fans will like that the chairs with the "cedars of Lebanon" cut-outs are still there.

We talked to the owner, Moe Jaber, about why he decided to open Tik Tok Falafel and to get more information on one of Uptown's newest eateries:

What are the restaurant's hours?  They're currently being determined.  Right now, they're 10am-9pm, Monday through Saturday.

Do you have any other restaurants, or is Tik Tok your first?   Moe has previously opened Shami Kabob & Grill in Orland Park, and spends his time in both restaurants.  When he's not at Tik Tok, his father runs the show.

Whose recipes are you using?  Family recipes?  Turns out that Moe trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, and all the recipes are his own.  After graduation, he spent a year in Jerusalem, perfecting his falafel, and other, recipes.  He is particularly proud of the Falafel Burger on the menu, something most Mediterranean restaurants don't offer.

Why Uptown?  One of the big draws was that the storefront is located so close to Truman College, and he hopes to attract many of the students across the street to Tik Tok.  He also says he likes Uptown because it's a lively, diverse neighborhood full of friendly people and he thought moderately priced, good ethnic food would be successful here.

Why should people come to eat at Tik Tok?  All the food is made fresh to order with only fresh ingredients.  Nothing is prepared in advance or sits around waiting.

Moe also mentioned that even people who have dietary restrictions can find lots to eat at Tik Tok.  The hummus and the soups, among others, are vegan, and most of the appetizers (for example, baba ganosh, kibbesh, shami dip) and salads (Tik Tok Salad, Jerusalem Salad, Tabbouleh) are vegetarian. In addition, all foods are prepared in compliance with zabiha halal.

Moe would recommend that on your first visit, try the Tik Tok Mix appetizer (hummus, baba ganosh, falafel, tabbouleh, and Shami dip, $8) or the Tik Tok Royal Plate (grilled skewers of shish kabob, chicken tawook, shawarma, and kefta kabob served with onions and bell peppers, $10) as a way to get acquainted with the various menu items.  He also recommends the falafel plate, the kefta and the chicken shawarma.

You can follow Tik Tok on Facebook; the website is still under construction.

When we were there, most of the tables were full, so we hope people are getting to know this little gem.  Drop by and pick up a menu, or better yet, order a meal.  Takeout is available as well as dining in.


  1. A great addition to the neighborhood! Fresh food, large portions, great prices!

  2. This place is great, better than Alma Puta.

  3. Gotta say, best falafel I've ever had. EVAR.

    babaganoush is awesome, too.

    If you liked Alma Pita, you will LOVE this. Better than Caravan, too. The only thing I've had that Caravan has better is the dill rice and bread.

    Really good, worth a try.

  4. I ate there the other day, and while very good, Taste of Lebanon still has the best shawarmas (though smaller), falafel, and hummus. The difference is that Tik Tok is right down the street from my house so I'll definitely be going back!

  5. I tried this place out a few weeks ago----great food! I had the Chicken Schwarma wrap and really liked it. I live closer to Taste of Lebanon and really like the food there too, but the spices and flavors were even better at Tik Tok. One of the guys gave me a sample of the falafel (so good) and definitely the next thing I will order when I stop by.