In Hebrew, chalavi means dairy. Much like that word, which is simple and straightforward, this all-kosher family restaurant is no games and no frills.
Located in the West Rogers Park Jewish 'hood, Chalavi patrons should expect nothing but honest, home-cooked food. The space is set-up like a diner, catering in particular to families. Dozens of tables are scattered throughout the space, and itís easy to push smaller tables together to make longer ones that can accommodate parties of 15 or more.
Salads run the gamut from mixed greens to a nicoise salad with a choice of dressing ($7.99-$10.99). Wraps get fishy with tuna salad, or go just plain chalavi, like the egg omelette and cheese wrap ($7.99). Paninis round out the menu; the kosher crab is a must-try, and comes with mock crab, zucchini, garlic, onion and special sauce ($8.99).
A simple treat like a bagel, lox and cream cheese is also available for those seeking more traditional Jewish fare. What's surprising to find on the menu, however, is the pastas and specialties section, which includes a tricolor pasta, seafood pasta, and even a stir-fried lo mien, suggesting that this is not the typical "kosher" food your granny's used to.
Breakfast entrees are also available, and served all day ó get two eggs any style, a Belgian waffle, or deluxe pancakes, to name a few. Kiddies love pizza by the slice ($2.50), which goes perfectly with a chocolate milk ($1.50).
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Alicia Eler