Out of all the tapas and Spanish cuisine restaurants in Chicago, that are still open, this is the one that I go back to even though it is not incredible or the best I have had. Cafe Iberico is part bar, part cafe, part dining room, but with the noise and crowd it would do best as just a bar and cafe and drop the dining room act because its impossible to "dine" here in any sense of the word. Couple things to take note of: Best Time-- Don't try to beat the dinner rush here, everyone does that and you end up waiting longer than you would if you were to show up in the middle of a big rush. Go Spanish and grab your meal at the end of the normal dinner hour. I have never waited more than ten to fifteen minutes for a table because everyone is clearing out. If you just want to grab a drink and tapas the bar is your best bet, but you have to be aggressive and get the eye of a bartender early. Remember, reservations are not taken here. Ambiance-- It's definitely a get together with a group of friends and catch up type of place. No matter what room you are in, its loud, some spaces are more cramped than others. It's definitely not a romantic or get to know you place to take a date, but perfect for a blind date or those dates you get roped into with someone your meddling mother met at church. Even if you are sitting right next to someone, you will need to raise your voice to be heard. The Food-- Not the best tapas or Spanish cuisine in Chicago, or that I've had, but take it from someone that has lived in Spain and has tried every tapas restaurant in the city and Chicagoland, its way better than most and the best bet for the money. I always order the paella to test a place out, because there is no middle ground with paella, its either good or inedible. I've had both the Paella Marinera and Paella Iberica and it always comes out great, perfect taste, seafood just right, and overall as good as any 4 star Barcelona restaurant. The tapas are always good, and fast, but some of them can be done in larger portions-- even for tapas. The croquettes are as good as mine. My favorites are the Queso de Cabra and Salpicon de Marisco. The wine list provides something for every dish and taste. The Service- Well, its not self serve, but sometimes it can feel that way. Once we never saw our waiter after ordering- someone entirely different brought our food and one dish never came, nor did our check which we had to retrieve at the front. Other trips have had excellent service, so it depends on the night and who you get. One thing though, the wait staff never seems to be familiar with their wine list, so if you ask for a recommendation based on what you are ordering don't expect help- once I was literally told, "They're all good." Luckily, I am decent at picking depending on what I am eating. The Prices- Like I said earlier, its the best bet for the money. There is another place here in Chicago that I like a bit more, but the prices are double or triple. Expect to pay around $12-$18 for an entree and $6-$9 for any of the tapas.
I love the atmosphere that Yahya Salon has. It was well lighted clean, colorful as well as very polite stylists that work there. I had a Thursday appointment at 10a to get a full sew in. The beautician advised me to bring my own hair weave, & so I did. First she washed my hair, that's when she informed me that I had dry hair& scalp. This wasn't new news to me cause I have always had dandruff but my old stylist said there was nothing she could do about it. The beautician at Yahya Salon said she had a deep condition treatment that would help the dryness of my hair &scalp, so I gave her permission to do any & everything that would help my hair. I must say after a couple of deep conditioning treatment my dandruff is much betta. My hair style was awesome, she made me look like a picture from out of a magazine. From the looks of how I walking in to how I looked when I walked out, looked like I paid a million dollars for my hair, but her prices were very reasonable... I will let Yahya Salon service me again & I also made my family & friends knowledgeable of 1 of the best Salons in Chicago.
Ridiculously nice people. After going once, Sam and Lynn (his right-hand gal) will remember your name, the service you received last time, and how you were feeling. That's awesome (and rare) up here in Albany Park. Lynn gives stellar manis and pedis (as do the other girls who come and go- but ask for Lynn if you have a choice!) and Sam's the hair guy. You'll be offered water, tea, or- on occasion- whatever cookies and treats someone has dropped off for them. (Always accept. I've never regretted trying something new and delicious.) So why only four outta five stars? Because while the prices are unreal affordable and the service is lovely, it's not always the fanciest haircut for a girl. (For a guy- absolutely. My husband always looks awesome after coming home from here.) Cuts for a woman are *very* basic and just fine. But again, you can't beat the prices and people. Their massage chairs are also top notch. Sometimes I stay a little longer and hog one of their chairs. Bonus- Sam and Lynn are so polite that they've never told me to perhaps give the chair to a waiting client. I like that.