After a long day taking in the sights of Chicago and walking around the city in somewhat chilly Midwestern weather, I drove towards my sister’s home in Lombard, IL. Before I could settle in for the night, I had to grab something nearby to eat. As people who are familiar with me know, I am not one to simply follow the flock and head off to a place on name alone. I am looking for the hidden treasures that coat my taste buds in flavors and have me hankering for a repeat visit. That is where Mr. Broast comes in.
While this family business has only been around since 2012, this local neighborhood joint has been enticing local residents and wandering Halal foodies with their famous Zinger Burgers and Peri Peri chicken that pack enough heat to easily forget about how cold it is outside.
Upon arrival I stepped up to the counter and was immediately overwhelmed with the various combinations and permutations of how I could have my chicken prepared. Crispy or grilled, wing or thigh, on the bone or between a bun. With a little advice from the counterperson and with a larger than normal appetite, I ordered a few dishes, took a seat at one of the few tables and waited for my meal.
After about 10 minutes of stomach grumbling and lip licking, my feast of Peri Peri chicken, Southwest Burger, a Philly Chicken sandwich and of course the Zinger Burger had finally arrived. Before I even began to dig into the delectable treats laid out in front of me, I was taken in by the intoxicating smells of the Peri Peri spices that marked the opening salvo to this delicious meal.
Following my nose, I dug into the Peri Peri chicken sandwich first like my nose suggested, this was a winner. The spiced meat was incredibly moist and gives Nando’s a run for its money.
Up next was the Philly chicken sandwich that deserved to be placed on any cheesesteak menu in the city of Brotherly Love. The chicken was sliced and diced alongside peppers, onions and some sauce and laid out on a toasted sub roll that ensured the sandwich did not fall apart from either the wet sauce or the weight of the filling.
Needing a small break from the chicken, I dived into the Southwest Burger that was topped with onion rings, cheese, and a spicy sauce that helped bring some Tex-Mex flair to Illinois. The burger was cooked to my specifications and would be a nice addition to any menu if someone wants to open up a Halal McDonalds in New York.
Before I left, I had to sink my teeth into the house’s specialty; the Zinger Burger. While a typical fried chicken sandwich is an overdone concept, Mr. Broast’s version is anything but normal. The secret to Mr. Broast’s version is in the Peri-Peri spices that give KFC’s 12 secret spices a run for its money. Flavor aside, the extra crispy chicken Mr. Broast puts into this sandwich along with the fact that the chicken does not come off as greasy truly makes it a winner in my book. Alongside the burger, I happily dived into a plate of fries that were fresh out of the fryer and topped with just enough spice to elevate this pedestrian side from ordinary to extraordinary.
Even though I had just finished a delectable—even if a bit gut busting, meal, I was strongly tempted to buy some chicken for the short drive to my sister’s apartment. Although all three suburban locations are a bit far out from downtown Chicago, its totally worth the drive to indulge in some Halal fried chicken since we just can’t get enough!
Editor’s Note: Sameer Sarmast is the President and Executive Producer of Sameer’s Eats, the first and only Halal food review web blog and video channel on YouTube. Sameer has been recognized by local and national media outlets as well as the U.S. State Department for his efforts in highlighting Halal cuisine. Sameer resides and works full time in New Jersey as a Vice President in Wealth Management for a major financial institution. When he isn’t working, he loves to travel and spend time with his friends and family. Follow him on twitter @SameersEats. The views expressed here are his own.