Ever since I read THEIR BALLS ARE INDEED GOLDEN in my friend, Dan B.’s Yelp review, I’ve been fixated on visiting The Golden Falafel Balls. Except I kept misquoting it, and I’ve been calling the place, GOLDEN BALLS OF DELICIOUSNESS. My version sounds like an American porno that’s been translated into Japanese.
I had the $9 Veggie Combo plate. That included six falafel balls, hummus, baba ganoush, pita, and a cup of pickles and peppers. The falafel balls were very slightly oily but the insides were perfect. They were cooked to order and piping hot with a nice crust, without being too hard or dry. (Take it from me, no one wants dried out, hardened balls.) Unfortunately the hummus was on the bland side, but the baba ganoush was good. (However, they didn’t hold a candle to the garlicky versions at Gourmet Express’s.) These sides were attractively garnished – it seems weird to mention but they really were.
The pickles and peppers were definitely needed because there just wasn’t enough variety on the plate, and my palate called out for something with a little kick. The combo came with thick Israel-style pita, which was fresh and possibly house-made (which puts it a step above many other Mediterranean places).
There is a glossary of foods on the wall, about as big as the posted menu, describing hummus and the like to the uninitiated.
If you want some GOLDEN BALLS OF DELICIOUSNESS in your mouth of your own, you should know that this place is a little tricky to find. In fact, I missed it the first time. Although the address is on Stevens Creek, the storefront faces Cabot.
Not including places that I have on my Turkish, Persian, or Afghan lists…
Katya’s Israeli/Middle Eastern/Falafel/Greek Rankings:
1) Gourmet Express, Milpitas
2) La Mediterranee, Berkeley
3) Holy Land, Berkeley
4) Shai's, Kensington (closed)
5) THE GOLDEN FALAFEL BALLS, SANTA CLARA
6) Falafel's Drive-In, San Jose
7) Athena Grill, Santa Clara
8) Cafe Nefeli, Berkeley
9) Sinbad Mediterranean Cuisine, San Mateo
10) Armenian Gourmet, Sunnyvale
11) Jerusalem, Santa Clara
12) Old Ironsides Cafe, Santa Clara
13) Daphne's, Sunnyvale
14) House of Falafel, Sunnyvale
15) Olives Greek Cafe, San Jose
16) Krivaar, San Francisco
17) Pita Pit, San Jose