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speaking of worth the drive: Falafel's Drive In

Windy | Jul 21, 200412:27 AM

After a recent thread on falafel in which I asked about Falafel's Drive In and was variously told it was the best outside the Middle East, worth driving from NY for, etc, I decided it was time to find out for myself. Citysearch voters gave it a 9.7 (but they liked PF Chang's too).

I persuaded a friend from Palo Alto to detour to San Jose and split the special, a large falafel with a banana shake for $6. This easily fed three of us.

We also tried the pita chips, an order of foul mudamas (sp?) made from mashed fava beans and picked up an extra 20 falafel balls for the picnic, on a tip from Yimster.

The verdict: excellent falafel. Lots of onion and parsley. The pita is storebought and ordinary, not like Rihab's. The spicy sauce is very good.

Loved the pita chips--fried with zatar. Easy to make at home. Didn't like the foul, although I love favas; seemed like a regular bean dip to me.

The banana shake alone is worth driving to San Jose for, and I don't usually like banana shakes.

For comparison, I do think the falafel at Holy Land in Berkeley is as good, and Holy Land served more of the spicy pickled vegetables that made eating falafel in Tel Aviv a revelation after eating flavorless rock hard fried balls. Plus they have that mint lemonade--worth sitting in Bay Bridge traffic for.

Pick up one of their color business cards; apparently you can e-mail or call in your order during lunch time when they are very, very popular.

Falafel Drive-In
2301 Stevens Creek Blvd
San Jose, CA 95128
Cross Street: Revey Avenue
Phone: (408) 294-7886


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