Pide ve Lachmacun introducing Turkish snacks

April 5, 2013 8:32:27 PM PDT
The dough is rolled and shaped all day long at the tiny Pide ve Lachmacun, which sits inconspicuously beneath the Brown Line stop at Irving Park, in the North Center neighborhood.

"Pide is a one word - Turkish-style pizza. Not like an Italian pizza; not tomato sauce based but there is a different type of filling and then shape is different. It's kind of boat-shaped," said co-owner Ikuko Takimoto.

Think of it as an open-faced calzone, which has a base of ground lamb and beef, topped with mozzarella, then shaped into its traditional, Turkish form. It's given an egg wash, to create that trademark sheen, and after it spends a few minutes in the oven, an egg is added for a bit of richness. Once they're finished, they're cut into pieces and served piping hot.

The other dish - as common in Turkey as a hot dog in Chicago - is lachmacun.

"We put on a tortilla-like dough, on top of it we put like a topping," she said.

That topping is usually ground lamb and beef with cooked peppers and spices, spread thin. After they're baked, they're plated and served with a few condiments, which are necessary to the enjoyment of the lachmacun; after they're added to the top, the pieces are rolled up and eaten; perfect on-the-go Turkish street food.

"Usually we squeeze lemon juice and then parsley, onion, tomato or any choice of veggie," said Takimoto.

And the pides come in various flavors, with all kinds of toppings. The ones we showed you are just the basic varieties. One note, they just started construction on Irving Park road, right in front of the restaurant, so you may have to park a few yards away, or on Ravenswood, which is free.

Pide ve Lachmacun
1812 W. Irving Park Rd.
(773) 248-6344