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Landmark Dining

Christopher Gardner

Feelin' Awful, Have a Falafel: Falafel Drive-in offers plenty of good eats at bargain prices.

Falafel Drive-in continues its tradition of serving up fine Middle Eastern fare

By Judi Blackwell

A DINING LANDMARK in San Jose, Falafel Drive-in has speedily served Middle Eastern fast-food fare since the early '60s. The falafels--among the best in the area--are, obviously, the main attraction. Suit-and-tie types consume them while looking at their watches; black-clad downtown club-hoppers munch them while nursing hangovers (hence the saying "Feelin' awful, have a falafel").

Crispy on the outside and still green on the inside, the garbanzo-bean specialty comes with lots of crisp salad and an excellent hot sauce, all cradled in a fresh, chewy pita ($1.90 small/$3 large). A mild sauce is offered for those with less tolerance for the spicier things in life.

Extra pitas are 25 cents and go great dipped into Falafel Drive-in's hummus ($2.95 small/$4.95 large) or eggplant-and-tahini baba ghanouj ($2.95). Both dressings also accentuate the falafel salad ($4.95), a hearty helping of falafels, lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Rounding out Falafel Drive-in's menu is tabouleh (an Arabic salad made with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, onion, mint and parsley), baklava, and a plethora of American fast-food delicacies such as hamburgers, hot dogs, milkshakes and french fries.

Falafel Drive-in, 2301 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose, 408/294-7886. Open Mon.-Sat., 9am-8pm; Sun., 11am-6pm.

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From the May 16-22, 1996 issue of Metro

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