Monday, March 26, 2012

Falafel King

Falafel King is a food mart right at the corner of Church St. and Marion St. in downtown Salem, Oregon.

Dang sunny glare didn't do me any favors



The picture board menu featured nine different items. I did not notice the full menu (nor was I offered one) until I had already placed my order. But even that was an excessive adventure:

In-house picture menu
(March 2012)

I kept inquiring about what I'd get on each particular order. #1 was falafel at $6.49. Would it be just falafel, or a sandwich? Wait, #4 is a falafel pocket pita, so is that also a sandwich? I'm confused already.

Three shawarma sandwiches were pictured for the #2 order ($7.49), yet the customer only receives one of them. Apparently the three are pictured just to show the differences (chicken, beef, and a lamb/beef combo are the picks).

My head spun like I was playing Dizzy Bat baseball. Put your head on the bat, spin around 10-20 times (no cheating, you must go very fast), and then try to hit a home run. Not that easy to hit the ball, is it?

I just went with the falafel sandwich (#1 on the board) and a piece of baklava for $8.49 total.

Part of a tray of baklava...I wish I could afford to eat the entire tray!
Piece of baklava
(Falafel King)
The baklava was very good. Moist and sweet, with a little nuttiness shining through. If it wasn't $2 for a small triangular piece, I woulda bought the whole tray. This felt like a happy-sad panda hybrid dealie, don't think you'd envision that one very often.

The sandwich, on the other hand, was a disappointment. Being the "falafel king," you'd think this is the signature item to get. The falafel was on the dry side, the tortilla wrapping (their version of a sandwich, I guess) was overtoasted, even giving off a slight burnt smell. I would have liked a bit more lubrication (yogurt sauce) to help unite the filling together. To be fair, the flavors were quite good and the sandwich (wrap) was pretty lengthy in size. That's what she said. Yeah, I went there.

#1 Falafel Sandwich
(Falafel King)
Inside the wrapping
The man taking my order is probably learning the ropes. He had a positive attitude throughout, but seemed nervous and/or inexperienced. The person taking orders is the messenger, connecting the customer with the cooks. Prompt, confident communication is vital.

I even told the man I would eat here, but I received everything in takeout containers. This didn't affect the overall experience, but it's just something to note.

I may still give Falafel King another shot down the road, but I'll likely wait a few months before venturing back, just to allow everyone to get situated. 4.25/10

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