I stopped into Oasis Cafe yesterday for some lentil soup to help chase away the June chill. Oasis Cafe, if you don’t know it, is in the back of the half-deserted Jeweler’s Mall on Wabash. You won’t find any tourists here, just the usual mix of office workers, interns, and IT guys grabbing a bit of lunch between meetings.
You’ll need to get to Oasis Cafe early if you want a seat — it’s the busiest place in Jeweler’s Mall, but don’t be afraid to share a table with a total stranger. Yesterday I sat with a couple of guys who had seen all the trashy summer movies I wouldn’t pay to go to. I felt caught up by the end of my meal. Win-win.
The lentil soup at Oasis is really good. At other places, I’ve found lentil soup to be too watery or even too chunky, but not here. Here, the soup was smoothly blended with excellent mouth feel. It had a nice, even consistency with only a smidgen of carrot to break its toasty color. As far as flavor, it’s not too salty and has just enough pepper to give it bite and add interest. There are no garnishes or toppings on their soup. It stands as is. For $2.75 with tax, Oasis gives you about a cup and a half and a warm, chewy pita to dip into it. It’s served hot, but not too hot to eat — no unnecessary blowing is required to cool down your lunch.
Oasis Cafe serves other Mediterranean cuisine — falafel, hummus, and couscous, but hold off on the rest of the menu until the weather improves. Soup is just the thing to chase away the cold.
12 N Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60602