Four years ago, back when Chowhound was still a relevant place to chat and learn about food, a local group organized an event with Malabar Catering, an Albany Park storefront operation specializing in the cuisine of Kerala. Everyone who bought in picked up a bag of highly spiced South Indian goodies including avial, a coconut-based vegetable dish, thoran, (chopped long beans, chiles, and grated coconut), and a dry fried beef curry not unlike a Malaysian rendang. For someone as new to South Indian cooking as I was, it was an eye-opening meal, but somehow I managed to forget all about Malabar–even though it’s three blocks away from me.
Now I’m kicking myself. Strolling by the other afternoon I noticed a large FOR RENT sign in the window. I popped in and found owner William George presiding over a table laden with takeout orders of the aformentioned dishes. George a native of Kottayam, Kerala, says after five years in the space he lost his lease when the landlord decided to go condo (note to developers: we don’t need any more in Albany Park). He’ll reopen in two weeks at 911 Greenwood Rd. in Glenview. Bad for the city, good for him–more of his regulars are out that way.
You can get your last (or first) taste at 3519 W. Montrose this Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Drop in after 3 PM and see what he’s cooked up. Or call 773-842-5179.