Saturday 19 Apr
 
 

Permanent parking, mobile food

A plan to create a permanent food truck park in Midtown passed the Downtown Design Review Committee (DDRC) on April 17. The creator, Hunter Wheat, based it on other permanent food parks around the country, including places like New York, the Dallas/Ft. Worth-area and Austin, Texas.
04/18/2014 | Comments 0

Smooth pop

Ah, springtime in Oklahoma and the joy of eating food from a street vendor. Just in time for the warm weather, two new mobile concepts want you to chill out.
04/16/2014 | Comments 0

Egg-static

No single holiday has done more to ruin the reputation of eggs than Easter.
04/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Fresh off the farm

There was a time not too terribly long ago in Oklahoma City when there was a chain on every corner and the closest you could get to local was to make a trip to your farmers market and make the food yourself. We always celebrate all things local, and luckily, it’s getting easier for OKC restaurants to incorporate locally grown, all- natural ingredients into what they offer.


— By Devon Green

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Soccer pub crawl

Football season is finally here! We call it soccer, but that doesn’t have to stop you from indulging in two favorite European traditions: walking and pub crawling. Since the Energy FC games will be alcohol-free, we’ve created a list of pubs and taverns within walking distance from Clement E. Pribil Stadium at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.

— by Devon Green 

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/09/2014 | Comments 0

OGK7 eat: Dollars to doughnuts

While the idea of fried dough may or may not be American in origin, the traditional ring-shaped confection that we know and love does originate here. According to The Smithsonian, doughnuts were created by an enterprising New England sailor’s mother who wanted a way to store and transport pastry. Regardless of its origin, the doughnut is a modern favorite.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman 

04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · Mideast feast
Restaurant Reviews
 

Mideast feast


Got an urge for Mediterranean food? It will be satisfied at this new spot in Edmond.

Carol Smaglinski May 25th, 2011

Simply Falafel
343 S. Blackwelder, Edmond
341-4646

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WHAT WORKS: The super fresh ingredients used in the recipes and friendliness of the staff.

WHAT NEEDS WORK: More signage is needed to find the place.

THE TIP: After eating there once, you may be tempted to have a longtime affair with fresh food from the Middle East.

Before moving here from Atlanta more than 30 years ago, my notion of Oklahoma food was barbecue, chicken-fried steak and people trotting around in cowboy boots. Over the years, I learned that, yes, barbecue and chicken-fried steak are popular, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. These days, it’s awfully fun to be a foodie in this town.

Simply Falafel, like the name suggests, is a Mediterranean spot with an informal atmosphere in suburban Edmond that debuted in December. It attracts not only students from the nearby University of Central Oklahoma, but business people in the area, too. Simply Falafel puts out the kind of food that you may not get at home, taking you on a culinary trip to the Mediterranean and Middle East. But finding the restaurant can also be a bit of a trip. The location itself is a bit tricky, but once you find it, you won’t forget. Set your GPS to the Target at Bryant and Second and look to the west.

Inside, it is quite bright and cheerful, with expansive windows, mint green paint on one wall and a soft melon color on another. The soothingly gentle decor is a far cry from the screaming reds and bright yellow in others.

Before considering main dishes, server Alaina Martin helped us zone in on the meza ($12), a sample platter of three choices from the starter list. Mezes (Greek for appetizer) are small dishes served all over the Mediterranean and Middle East.

Diving into the first course, it was the restaurant’s “famous” golden brown falafel patties (deepfried croquettes made with highly spiced chickpeas). Falafel often can be stodgy little bites, but these were very satisfying. Next, we dug into the button mushrooms that had been marinated with cardamom and further highlighted with a hint of garlic, assorted spices and red wine vinegar.

The custardy baba ghanoush, which is pureed eggplant, was so good. It had been mashed with tahini, a thick paste made from sesame seeds, with added lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and pomegranate seeds and molasses, all with triangles of warm pita bread.

Finally, we finished up with an order of hummus ($4), which was a generous portion of pureed healthy chickpeas combined with tahini, a staple in Middle Eastern cooking, plus a dash of lemon juice all drizzled with olive oil and bits of garlic and presented with pita. All of the appetizers quickly blended into many bites of delight.

My guest’s eyes popped looking at the reasonable prices. Our main dishes were kobideh kebab ($8) and beef kebab ($11). The delicious kobideh kebab was minced Angus  beef folded with spices and onions, skewered, char-broiled and served with grilled vegetables plus a choice of rice and the salad bar — a bargain if I’ve ever seen one!

Another choice, the mouthwatering gyro ($6), was loaded with a sliced beef and lamb mixture, veggies and cucumber sauce, and my so-appealing basil tomato soup ($2) was packed with bits of tomatoes and fresh herbs.

The tender beef shish kebab was beef tenderloin marinated with herbs, garlic and spices, then skewered and char-broiled. It was served with fresh vegetables, rice and a trip to the salad bar.

The salad bar offers three kinds of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and varied seasonal vegetables. The absolute freshness and simplicity of the colors, textures and nutrients on display at the salad bar balances the spiciness of the main dishes.

Simply Falafel’s menu offers a familiar lineup of gyros ($6), blackened chicken breast platter ($10), tuna salad ($6) and the fish of the day ($12), but also look for a unique lamb burger ($7) done on a ciabatta bun.

Should there be room for dessert, order the baklava ($2, $2.50 for the large). We did not have a crumb left on our plates.

If you recall the former Saffron Grill in 50 Penn Place and liked the food there, this is the same owner, Moe Chahoi, who just moved his act to Edmond with business partner Chuck Miller. The hands that shaped the inside of the restaurant are those of Chahoi, who is also the accomplished cook.

The well-practiced chef has done great honor to the cuisine of the Middle East. He is pleasantly surprised with the interest shown thus far and is speculating that perhaps there could be more Simply Falafels in his future.

Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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