To say I am on a falafel kick right now would be an understatement. I cannot get enough of the stuff. It all started back in Charlottetown during my weekly trip to the farmer’s market. I tried Shaddy’s falafel one Saturday and haven’t looked back.
Now that I am home in Calgary I am determined to hunt down the best falafel in the city. I have Mondays off work so they have officially been dedicated to falafel lunches with my best friend and lover of food (although not the actual cooking part) Alannah. She’s a major meat-eater but I still managed to get her on the bandwagon!
So for the inaugural “Falafel Monday” (clearly I need to come up with a catchier name) we decided to try out Aida’s Bistro on 4th Street. Let’s just say things got off to an awesome start. Although I won’t say it beat Shaddy’s, the kicker was the crunch factor. Even through the pita and the plethora of toppings, I still got the crispy texture of the falafel itself. This is key people. What’s the point of deep drying chickpea fritters if you can’t even tell that they are crunchy? But these were crunchy. Shatter in your mouth crunchy. Other than that the tahini was nice and tutty, the pita was uber fresh, as were all of the veggies. Maybe a bit too much lettuce if I want to get critical. I also appreciated that it wasn’t overly messy. Although the entire wrap was huge, it managed to stay together until the very last bite, rather than getting all over the plate. And for only $7.50, amazing value.
Alannah opted for the shwarma which she enjoyed. It was after trying a bite of my falafel that she became a convert. Even said it was better than her shwarma. Real shocker actually. We also split a Greek salad. Even the small size was more than enough for the 2 of us. It may have been simple, but all of the elements were done right. The olives still had the pit in (not the ugly, pre-sliced, canned variety) and the feta was shredded rather than cubed (I found this better as it allowed for a little bit of the briny flavor in ever bite). It got the Mallory seal of approval.
After leaving Aida’s sufficiently full, we still wanted to get dessert at Yann Haute Patisserie. Except that it happened to be closed Mondays (and Tuesdays for that matter). However I will be going back when it is actually open.
So a successful start to Falafel Monday!