Sahara Kabob

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You’ve heard it before, and it rings true here: It’s not what’s on the outside that counts. This strip mall storefront in Rogers Park isn't much to look at, with a birghtly lit, movie-theater style sign hanging outside. But on the inside, it’s clean, efficient and refreshingly straightforward. Sahara Kabob (known until 2008 as Big Buns and Pita) offers healthful Middle Eastern fare—it's cooked without oil, and meats are served skin-off and grilled—as well as some American options. By day, it's a fast food-like joint specializing in everything from kabob to tashreeb (lamb shank on fluffy bread) to burgers and fries. At night, tables are decorated with candles and the grab-n-go spot becomes a quaint (and affordable) getaway.