CHSO December 2011 : Page 182

182 | food drink | deal KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL From left: The lunchtime crowd at Med Kitchen; egg-lemon soup, chicken kabob, Greek salad and grilled pita; falafel plate with grilled vegetables; co-founder John Thanoukos All in the Family Med Kitchen is a welcome Loop dining option for time-and wallet-crunched diners. | By Lisa Shames | Photography by Anthony Tahlier | When your family owns a restaurant, you have two career options: follow in their footsteps or go in a different direction. Or you can do what Peter and Billy Thanoukos did and do both. It was their father’s Greek-American eatery Hub’s in Lincoln Square that put them through college— finance for Peter, law for Billy—and where they often found themselves working during their summer breaks. But rather than join their father at the 35-year-old neighborhood spot, the two opted for jobs in firms downtown and left the restaurant business more or less behind. Or so they thought. After 10 years of working in the Loop, the brothers were fed up with their dining options and saw an opportunity to do something different. And they knew just the right guy to tap for the project: their dad, John. And that’s how Med Kitchen, a casual counter-service restaurant offering a mix of Greek dishes tweaked to be on the lighter side, was born. The brothers still work their 9-to-5 jobs—they stop by before work or in the evenings—while it’s their father, who often can be found working the line in addition to manning the kitchen at Hub’s. “He’s the true brainchild behind this,” says Peter. “We were just the engine that got him into the Loop and helped find a way to differentiate ourselves.” Those differences are apparent from the moment you walk into the 80-seat spot, packed at lunchtime with on-the-go downtown diners but more relaxed during its early-to-close dinner hours. In addition to exposed pipes, industrial-style light fixtures and a concrete floor, the urban-chic space features a mural by Brooklyn artist Steven Wasterval. Then there’s the food. Rather than simply stick to their Greek roots, the trio opted to encompass flavors from the entire Mediterranean region. That means in addition to lamb and beef gyros rotating on the spit-fired rotisserie (we like ours stuffed in a pita; messy but worth the effort), you’ll also find marinated grilled chicken kabobs, fluffy and greaseless falafels (baking powder is the secret, says Peter) and a selection of salads. Invoking a Chipotle-like approach, each item is customizable—sandwich A skirt steak wrap or plate, orzo pasta or rice, various sauces—and can be confusing. Our tip: Don’t miss out on the tzatziki, a creamy-yet-refreshing cucumber sauce, a mainstay at Hub’s and a recipe of John’s. Which just goes to prove, father really does know best. Med Kitchen 219 W. Washington St., 312.606.0633, medkitcheneatery.com Mon.-Fri. 11 am -7 pm DEALMAKErs Greek egg-lemon soup,. $2.50/$3.50 Marinated grilled chicken kabob plate,. $6.75 Spit-fired rotisserie pork sandwich,. $6.15 Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts,. $3 | December 2011

Food Drink Deal

Lisa Shames

All in the Family

Med Kitchen is a welcome Loop dining option for time- and wallet-crunched diners.

When your family owns a restaurant, you have two career options: follow in their footsteps or go in a different direction. Or you can do what Peter and Billy Thanoukos did and do both.

It was their father’s Greek-American eatery Hub’s in Lincoln Square that put them through college— finance for Peter, law for Billy—and where they often found themselves working during their summer breaks.But rather than join their father at the 35-year-old neighborhood spot, the two opted for jobs in firms downtown and left the restaurant business more or less behind. Or so they thought.

After 10 years of working in the Loop, the brothers were fed up with their dining options and saw an opportunity to do something different.And they knew just the right guy to tap for the project: their dad, John.

And that’s how Med Kitchen, a casual counter-service restaurant offering a mix of Greek dishes tweaked to be on the lighter side, was born. The brothers still work their 9-to-5 jobs—they stop by before work or in the evenings—while it’s their father, who often can be found working the line in addition to manning the kitchen at Hub’s. “He’s the true brainchild behind this,” says Peter. “We were just the engine that got him into the Loop and helped find a way to differentiate ourselves.”

Those differences are apparent from the moment you walk into the 80-seat spot, packed at lunchtime with on-the-go downtown diners but more relaxed during its early-to-close dinner hours. In addition to exposed pipes, industrial-style light fixtures and a concrete floor, the urban-chic space features a mural by Brooklyn artist Steven Wasterval.

Then there’s the food. Rather than simply stick to their Greek roots, the trio opted to encompass flavors from the entire Mediterranean region.

That means in addition to lamb and beef gyros rotating on the spit-fired rotisserie (we like ours stuffed in a pita; messy but worth the effort), you’ll also find marinated grilled chicken kabobs, fluffy and greaseless falafels (baking powder is the secret, says Peter) and a selection of salads.

Invoking a Chipotle-like approach, each item is customizable—sandwich or plate, orzo pasta or rice, various sauces—and can be confusing. Our tip: Don’t miss out on the tzatziki, a creamy-yet-refreshing cucumber sauce, a mainstay at Hub’s and a recipe of John’s. Which just goes to prove, father really does know best.

Read the full article at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/Food+Drink+Deal/903535/90940/article.html.

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here