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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Falafill - Chicago

Nominated as the best place in Chicago for falafel - I second that nomination!  I stumbled across this gem actually looking for another restaurant that was closed due to Memorial Day - luck was clearly on my side because this was too good to miss. Welcome to Falafill.

I really wasn't looking for a meal or anything - just a bite to get me by.... a snack I guess.  But I saw this place, and you know I can't resist falafel!  When I walked in, I was instantly greeted by the most friendliest of wait staff - who helped me decide what to try - I went with two different types of their falafel (the classic and the curry) - and then on to the dipping sauces (my favorite part!!) - and at the last second I decided on the fries - my "snack" was getting pretty large...

As we were chatting, he began to tell me how Falafill came about - local sourced, whole ingredients feeding people one of the world's oldest dishes - just not something the US eats regularly but something the rest of the world greatly enjoys!  I was enamored by his passion for 1) falafel (as a fellow falafel lover) 2) his job and 3) he spoke so highly of the neighborhood and of Chicago!  I just wanted to pull up a chair and never leave. 

Now about the falafel - they really were the best.  Perfect mix of spices but the balance between the soft texture of the chickpeas on the inside against the crispy fried outside is my favorite!  Sometimes there just isn't enough contrast - but these were divine! Falafel can be great on their own but sauces take them to a whole other level - and Falafill knows what's up when it comes to sauces!  I love the idea of having a sauce bar - so you can mix and match, great for me because I love spicy but usually need to cool it off a bit with something a little more mild.  I went with a mix of taratour (tahini and lemon sauce), harissa (an african fire sauce - the red one), and a zhug (jalapeno and cilantro sauce - the green one) - sauce wonderland!! 

Let's not forget the fries...from now on I expect all fries to be tossed in lemon juice, garlic, crushed red pepper, paprika, cayenne, and cilantro.  Done deal.  My snack turned into a meal and I was just fine with it - blissful actually. 

Another great thing about Falafill - the can accommodate Gluten Free needs (obviously that was my first question when I walked in the door) but they are also Vegan friendly for all my Chicago Vegans out there!  

I really fell in love with the neighborhood where I found Falafill - On Broadway but in the Belmont area maybe?  I'm honestly not exactly sure where we were - a ways down Lakeshore drive and then just west a bit.  Such a beautiful hipster neighborhood - they are the BEST - locally owned bookstores, boutique clothing stores, Gluten Free and Vegan eating options always....I feel at home! 

Where ever you are - this is worth the drive...have a snack, have dinner, enjoy the neighborhood!

Always, J ♥

Falafill on Urbanspoon