Friday, November 12, 2010

Falafel Find: Byblos Pitas

One of my favorite bloggers in Atlanta, The Blissful Glutton (, got me in the mood for falafel.  Blissful takes awesome pictures and she recently posted an article about a pita place she loves in the ATL.  Her photos of falafel and other Middle-Eastern delights made my mouth water. 

Unlike the Glutton, I am neither an adept photographer nor a falafel expert.  The first time I tried the fried chick pea concoction was in London, where almost every streetside restaurant claimed to have THE BEST falafel.  The Food and Loathing family looked at each other and wondered, "What the heck is falafel?" 

Outside the British Museum at a fascinatingly unfriendly little restaurant - you read it right, I said unfriendly, as in these people were mad at the world - I ordered it.  And it was okay.  Probably should have gone across the street to the other guy who claimed his was the best falafel in all the land.  Unlike the Falafel Commando, the competition might have offered a greeting, forced a smile or feigned customer appreciation.  Picture the Soup Nazi on "Seinfeld."

After reading Blissful's blog, I decided to order a falafel appetizer the other night at Acropolis.  Again, I was unimpressed; it was passable but lacked something. 

Yesterday, it was time to do some comparison shopping.  Maybe falafel is not my thing.  I stopped by Byblos Pitas near USF. 

Thank you, Byblos.  I knew I would like falafel.  These were loaded with garlic and parsley flavor and included a spicy kick.  Maybe ground red pepper?  The patties were fried to a golden crisp and stuffed into a pita with my choice of toppings.
I asked the guy at the counter to suggest toppings because they have several sauces, dips, veggies and pickles displayed.  I figure the folks who make this stuff every day know which flavor combinations work well.  I ended up with really fresh cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and onions drizzled with a ladle of tzatziki sauce (my request).  The college kid helping me was pleasant and patiently answered all of my questions.

This is a quick-bite or takeout type of place with a bright and cheery atmosphere.  A full menu of Mediterranean-inspired pita choices is available, as well as soups and salads.

Cost:  $5
Verdict:  I'll be back.

Restaurant Info:
Byblos Pitas
2734 University Square Drive

Byblos Pitas on Urbanspoon

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