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Berkeley: Chick-O-Pea's - The falafel place with a falafel bar


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Berkeley: Chick-O-Pea's - The falafel place with a falafel bar

rworange | May 27, 2009 08:40 PM

Located next to Triple Rock on Shattuck where there was a bakery long ago.

I have no feelings about falafel. It never does much for me. However, a restaurant billing itself as the falafel place plus the promise of a falafel bar with over 25 toppings and condiments had an appeal to me.

I forgot my takeout menu, but it is pretty simple - beside falafel there is chickpea soup, flavored fries, takeout salads, and various types of baklava - regular, apple, and choclava.

I'll leave the evaluation of the falafel to others as this is not my thing. There were three. They were tasty enough, not oily like some and on the small side.

The pita seemed to overwhelm them, but the point seems to be to load up the $7 sandwich with toppings. I thought the house-baked pita was tasty. It was a little softer and thicker than most with a slight background sweetness. It tore easily though. It might just be the way they cut the top, there's 3/4 of a pita and that makes it hard to stuff it with toppings. .

I'll list them in the first reply, but oddly enough one of my favorites was the salsa fresca which was standard tomato, onion, cilantro, Serrano peppers, salt AND fresh ginger. This was really a swell addition. I can hardly wait to make some at home with fresh ginger.

The dressing I liked best was the zchug - cilantro, parsley tomatoes, hot peppers, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, spices and salt.

They have some very nice rough chopped fresh herbs - parsley, cilantro, dill and scallions. I sprinkled sesame seeds over everything and was quite happy.

The jerk fries was a flavor that didn't do it for me. There was some spice in there I personally don't like. However, the matchstick fries in a paper cup were pleasant. For an extra 50 cents you can get a dip. Since I wasn't crazy about the jerk flavor I got pesto ... there are pesto fries ... it was just a cup of pesto and didn't do much for me. I also tried the saffron aioli which was fine. I'll give some of the other dips a try, but I hope they have catsup too.

They also have pita fries.

Totallly vegetarian and very vegan-friendly.

I think they could do better in the drink department. There are fountain drinks, organic coffee, some sort of bottled mint drink and Numi organic tea bags.

It is really a pleasant place. The staff is really nice. At the falafel bar I could see the pita lined up and ready to be put in the oven.

There is a nice patio area outside with about 5-6 tables, one sidewalk table, three two-tops inside and three high bar tables where you can stand and eat.

Hours are in flux. They hope someday to be open till 1 am on Saturday, but currently they are closing up nine-ish.

1926 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

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