Got garbanzos? They do at Chick-O-Pea’s, which offers organic falafels in freshly made pitas, and a bar of 25 toppings and salads to go with them. One of the bar’s greatest hits is the salsa fresca, reports rworange. It has fresh ginger, “a swell addition” to the usual tomato-onion-cilantro-chile blend. Even better than that is the simple but delicious zchug, made with cilantro, parsley, tomatoes, hot peppers, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, spices, and salt. “I wanted to ‘zchug’ it, LOL,” quips Agent 510.
The bar’s range includes hummus, baba ghanoush, Lebanese slaw, cauliflower salad, harissa, aioli, and daikon salad.
The chickpea soup is surprisingly rich for a vegan broth, says rworange, chock full of greens with some kidney beans and noodles, plus plenty of olive oil. Lab kusa is also pleasant, a light, hummus-like spread made with zucchini. The fries are great, but the dips that accompany them are less exciting than they sound (Mediterranean pesto, saffron aioli, jerk seasoning, and Sahara dust). Another option, pita fries, are pre-fried.
For dessert, there’s regular and apple baklava, plus “choclava.”
Chick-O-Pea’s [East Bay]
1926 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley