The Fat Falafel Food Truck
Recently Jeremy and I tried one of New Orleans’s new food trucks – the Fat Falafel. The Fat Falafel food truck parks in our neighborhood on Tuesday nights right in front of Swirl Sensational Wines. We’d been hearing about them and decided it was high time to see what it was all about.
By and large, falafel isn’t something that’s widely found in New Orleans. I’m not even sure why. Probably because we don’t have a strong Mediterranean culture here. Sure we’ve got several Greek and Lebanese restaurants and a few sketchy little gyro places here and there, but it’s just not pervasive here.
So let’s get back to the Fat Falafel. This roving food truck is run by two talented individuals – Theresa Galli and Gavin Cady. Both have impressive backgrounds in the culinary industry (check them out here). Their love of falafel is evident in the dishes they bring to their diners. The food is executed thoughtfully and masterfully. I was highly impressed with the quality of their dishes.
We ordered three items on our first visit – the falafel platter, the meatball plate and a large order of French fries. All three dishes were extraordinary and we’ll discuss each below. Of course the total menu is limited, but they offer a few other items like sides of hummus and falafel and something called the Fat Sandwich (pita stuffed with falafel, cucumber, root slaw, eggplant, french fries, and sauces – I WANT). From what I can tell, they also regularly feature new and exciting food items on the menu (i.e. specials).
Let’s just start with the falafel, shall we? The falafel platter included three falafel balls, hummus, roasted eggplant, root vegetable slaw, Israeli salad and pita. All for $8 – talk about a deal. The falafel were crunchy and perfectly fried. While I enjoyed the whole plate, I especially liked the root vegetable slaw. It contained carrots and beets with some parsley. It was crispy and well-seasoned. The hummus was extraordinary as well. Great dish. (Forgive the out of focus picture – iPhone still doesn’t take consistent photos yet).
Our second entrée dish was the meatball plate. We’d sampled their meatballs before at a tasting at St. James Cheese Company in January, which is where we had our first taste of Fat Falafel at all. The meats are sourced from Cleaver & Co., a local (AMAZING) butcher here in New Orleans. The meat is local and sustainably raised, which is very important to us here in the Martin household. Besides three fat, juicy meatballs, the plate also included tabbouleh, preserved lemon and a generous helping of tzatziki ($6/plate). Needless to say we enjoyed that plate as well. The flavors were bold and harmonious. Fantastic dish.
Finally, the guilty pleasure indulgence – French fries with garlic aioli. Holy moly, wowie zowie – I loved this dish! The fries were crisp and perfect. The garlic aioli was from another dimension. It was so flavorful and had a very pleasant consistency. It was almost like whipped butter. It didn’t resemble some of the poor versions of aioli I’ve seen served elsewhere. For a mere $5, we received a very large serving of fries (we almost weren’t able to finish them). Do yourself a favor and at minimum, order the small fries while you’re there. You will thank me.
So, it’s pretty obvious that we loved everything, right? OK cool, because we did. Oh so much. If you are in the New Orleans area and haven’t checked out Fat Falafel yet, do it! They move around all over the city so they should end up somewhere near your neighborhood. They do have a fairly regular schedule but of course, since they’re on the move, it does change from time to time. Best to just bookmark their homepage and follow them on Twitter so you can see where they are each evening.