Monday, March 21, 2011

A Falafel-y good weekend!

I had a weekend fling with Falafel. It started with dinner on Saturday that was so good, it had me coming back for more on Sunday. This is pretty out of character for me....when it comes to eating out, I like to get around, mix it up, try different things, experience variety- but this weekend was all about Falafel Town.

Saturday night, I went to Joe's Apartment on Granville street to check out a friend's cousins band. We had a couple of beers, but no dinner, and headed downtown. I like to make sure there is a proper meal in my belly when I'm heading in for an evening that is sure to involve more drinks (I'm way too responsible), so I mentioned to the sous chef that I had a hankering for Falafel, his favourite place happened to be on the way to the bar, and we tucked into Falafel Town (Granville and Nelson) so I could get a bite.
My first impression of Falafel town was glowing- it was clean and bright, with spotless tables, a fairly fresh coat of red paint, and an enthusiastic owner/operator ready to wrap me up a compact vegetarian lebanese meal.
For those who've never had it- Falafel is a ball or patty made from ground chickpeas. Falafel is usually served in a pita. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled veg, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini and/or hummus. If you are eating falafel, bring your gum...because this is straight up garlicky goodness.

Some stand-outs at Falafel Town:
-great price point (6.50 - and it is filling!)
-standard practice here is to wrap up your falafel with 2 pitas so they can stuff it to full capacity with less chance of messiness and leaking
- extremely fresh toppings--- I LOVE the dill pickles, hot pepper rings, and purple pickled turnips
-their sauces are made in-house with the owner/operators secret recipes. The house hot sauce is unbelieveable- I got it in my pita and then was given a squeeze bottle so I could put more on for every bite. He wouldn't tell me what was in it but it was tomato-based with chili, parsley, and onions and it was so well-balanced and fresh tasting.
-after wrapping up your falafel, they grill it to seal things up (to make it less messy) and crisp everything up. It's a small thing that takes the whole meal up a notch.

Even with a hang-over, I ended up joining a bunch of friends and family the next day downtown for the Celtic Fest Parade. Some people grabbed burritos for lunch but all I could think about was my delicious dinner from the night before. Once I started talking about it, Dave and the sous chef started to have falafel cravings too, and we headed away from the Celtic crowd back to Falafel Town.
It was another awesome meal- this time I got mine with a single pita, a little messier but lower carb and still damn tasty. I chatted with the owner more about the falafel balls and how they are made and I watched him form and fry up a fresh batch- then he gave me a sample from the fresh batch. The sous chef and Dave were also extremely pleased with their lunch and were feeling the Falafel Town love.
I really have to give a shout out to the owner of Falafel Town- he is really passionate about his food and clearly takes pride in his product and makes providing above-and- beyond customer service look easy.
Falafel Town on Urbanspoon

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