Yeah, the Falafel IS Great.
But Wait, There’s More….
Latest visit: March 17, 2013
First visit: March 10, 2010
If you stop after ordering the Falafel, you will miss some of the most delicious treats that Central Ave. has to offer, such as
- Beef and Lamb Shawarma
- Chicken Shawarm a Specialty Spiced “Chicken Tika”
- Kafta Kabob
- Shish Kabob
- Sahara Burger
- Tabouli Salad
- Lentil Soup
- Fattoush, and lots more.
We first there on a Friday evening before a UNM event. The aromas met us in the parking lot, and we knew we were in the right place.
The owner, Omar Neshewat, was behind the counter, and proudly displayed dishes and desserts as they emerged from the various ovens. The aromas were heavenly, as was the food.
One of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes us Shawarma. Shawarma (Arabic: شاورما) is a Levantine Arab meat preparation, where lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats are placed on a spit (commonly a vertical spit in restaurants), and may be grilled for as long as a day. Shavings are cut off the block of meat for serving, and the remainder of the block of meat is kept heated on the rotating spit. Although it can be served in shavings on a plate (generally with accompaniments), shawarma also refers to a sandwich or wrap made with shawarma meat. Shawarma is eaten with tabbouleh, fattoush, taboon bread, tomato, and cucumber. Toppings include tahini, hummus, pickled turnips and amba. It is now a fast-food staple worldwide.
I ordered the Beef and Lamb Shawarma dinner and Jane ordered Falafel and Fattoush Salad. Rice, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Falafel, and a small Fattoush Salad accompanied the Beef and Lamb Shawarma. Everything was excellent — neither dry nor soggy. The spicing was just right. The Falafel may well be the best in the city. Certainly the best I’ve had here. The Fattoush is the best that Jane or I have ever had. Everything here is perfect.
At various other times, we have had Stuffed Grape Leaves, Chicken Shawarma, Gyros, and more. Equally perfect. The rice accompaniment is notable for its flavor and texture.
There are two sorts of Middle Eastern eateries in this area: Large and fancy (like Mykoonos and Yanni’s) and small and comfy order-at-the-counter places (like Sahara and Yasmine’s). They are all good. Mykonos still remains my large favorite, but Sahara is my newest favorite small place.