Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Falafel

So!

It's now past the Tuesday deadline and everyone who was going to bundle has bundled (you did bundle, didn't you? I mean, unless you have some horrible condition where going into a store with FIVE aisles of scrapbooking supplies and SIX aisles of Christmas gee-gaws [in AUGUST PEOPLE!! AUGUST! So wrong it's made me break out the square-brackets-within-the-parentheses {dang, where was I...oh yes}] makes you develop weeping purple hives or something /*phew thought I was going to be caught forever in a labyrinth of nested asides*/) so I can get back to that dusty old list of things I was going to blog about. Most of which I've forgotten what I was going to say...

... except the Falafel King who is, I can honestly say, unforgettable.

A month or so ago I noticed a bright yellow sign up outside what appeared to be a gas station, a sign saying something like "now open! Middle Eastern Restaurant!" The gas station seemed to still be fully functional and there were also signs suggesting an oil change might be in order and wouldn't now be a great time to consider buying a fleece blanket devoted to the promotion of the Denver Broncos?

Unfortunately at that moment I didn't have time to take a left and so sadly I did not stop for lunch.

Then.

I mean, come on - a middle eastern restaurant - plonked down inside a not-quite-7-11? Irresistible!

So a few weeks later I convinced a weak-minded friend to join me and we swung in the door to find: The display of rolled up horoscopes, the display of novelty lighters, the large sign promising meeeellleeeeons of dollars if you just buy the nice lotto ticket, the seventeen magazines about hot-rods, low-riders or customized bikes (all with EXACTLY the same woman in a bikini draped over them - and I'm darn sure she's going to burn something sensitive on that tail pipe if she's not careful), four aisles of lentils, dried chickpeas, spices and sugared almonds AND two small diner booths with tables. And flowers. And little menus. One booth was already occupied by two couples who seemed to be struggling not to giggle, but the other was free and immaculately clean so we considered sitting down but really didn't want to commit too much so we just walked up to the counter (next to the horoscopes) and cleared our throats to be heard over the arabic soap opera playing on the television.

Which is where we met the falafel king.

We would, we told him confidently, quite like the falafel sandwichy thing which had falafel wrapped up in flatbread and some sauce and pickles and nice stuff. He looked at us fondly. 'You eat here or you take it with you?' he asked and, 'oh, to go, please,' I said happily. 'You want those toasted?' 'Oh YES!' I said (because I couldn't quite hear him as the very lovely busty woman with the purple blouse had just burst into tears all over the chest of the tall man with the mustache and the green shirt with the sort of weird flowery vesty thing and it got a bit loud). He looked at us sadly and turned to his grill. We decided to browse through the lentil section for a bit.

Five minutes later he came up to us, clearly agitated.

'You see, you can't take them with you. If you take them with you, because they are toasted, they will become soggy, you see? They will no longer be crisp. And the heat, it will be gone, and the flat bread, it will NO LONGER BE CRISP. You must eat them here.'

We blinked at him. He leaned forward a bit.

'I make them, you see, I make them myself here, right here, I make them all, and the bread, when you toast it, you must eat it here, hot, while it is crisp and nice. IF YOU GO IT WILL NOT BE NICE!!'

We meekly sat down in the booth and accepted our crisp, hot falafel sandwiches. He smiled at us in satisfaction and then moved on to the other booth where he scolded them for wanting to take the remains of their hummus and pita with them.

I have to say, the falafel? It was superb.

And crisp.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

And I, of course, am hungry. And now, more so. I shake my fist at you, Falafel King!

Please don't describe the hummus, I'll start crying.

wheelsonthebus said...

that's awesome

Megan said...

anonymous - ooooh, the hummus! Although, very funny, took Child 3 there for lunch and the Falafel King actually took the flatbread out of his fingers and showed him the RIGHT way to eat hummus. With his bare hands. Then he served us Bedouin coffee and nearly impaled us when we thought it was Turkish. Bedouin. Not Turkish. Very important.

Emily - oh, it was! The food was fantastic but the ambiance... unbelievable.