Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Savannah - Middle Eastern Cuisine

I had a little time to wander around the streets of Savannah this evening and I made my way down to the famous Savannah Fountain and snapped this picture. This thing was beautiful. I've seen lots of pictures of it in the past, but none of them really do it justice. This is really something that everyone should see, if at all possible. It's so pretty as you walk up this long walkway that leads to it. The walkway is surrounded by lots of those huge Weeping Willows with all of the moss growing in them and drooping down towards the ground. BEAUTIFUL! I always thought that the pictures of the fountain were beautiful, but seeing it in real life was even more impressive than I thought it would be. I'm glad I got to see it.

For lunch today, I headed for a place recommended by my vegetarian server at the restaurant where I ate lunch yesterday. It's a little place called Middle Eastern Cuisine. She recommended it because she said that they had the best Hummus and Falafel that she had ever eaten anywhere, and that those items were, of course, vegan. It didn't take me long to find it. In fact, it's really pretty close to where I am staying and where my class is. As you can see from the pic, it has a very unassuming storefront. There was a cool screen door there on the building too that let the nice breezes blow into the restaurant. I think that this place is quite popular. The owner showed me some Savannah tourist magazine there too which had a write-up about his place in it. It's small, but I think that just makes it all that much more interesting.

Needless to say, I started out by ordering the Hummus. All of the ingredients were listed right there on the menu and this was just plain 'ol Hummus made with Chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice & salt. If there were any secret ingredients in there then they weren't listed on the menu. This Hummus was EXCELLENT. It seems kinda' strange that I've eaten Hummus every single day this week. I guess I'm starting to get addicted. Oh well, there are worse foods to be addicted to. I used to like "fancier" Hummus better, with Roasted Red Peppers or something else like that. But I swear, I can't imagine Hummus tasting any better than just this plain old regular recipe. This stuff was really good.

And then, for my main course, I ordered the Falafel. I have never made Falafel at home, although I have been meaning to. I had only tried it once before. I bought some pre-made brand from the freezer section of the local health food store. It was horrible. I couldn't even bring myself to swallow it. I actually ended up spitting it out in the trash can. I discovered later via some vegan message boards that frozen Falafel is practically inedible and NOTHING like the real thing. Kinda like canned Asparagus I guess. I knew that I wanted to give it another try because I had heard so many people talk about how much they loved the stuff. Well, what better place to try it than in a restaurant called Middle Eastern Cuisine?

The Falafel is homemade, of course, and the owner said that he baked his. It came wrapped up in a Pita with some lettuce, tomato, red onion and cucumber. You could choose from a few different things to spread on it, but I just ended up choosing to have mine slathered with a little more Hummus. OH MY GOD! This was so good. I am SO making some Falafel when I get back home to Tennessee. Now I see what people are talking about when they say how much they like Falafel. I kinda' feel like I've cheated myself by not discovering Falafel earlier in life, but oh well, better late than never. Hopefully I've still got a lot of years left to enjoy eating this stuff. I will definitely be seeking out places that serve Falafel whenever I eat out now. I don't think there are any where I live, but who knows? Maybe there is. I just never have checked. I will certainly be making some homemade very soon though, so keep your eyes peeled for that to appear in my lunchbox one day.

So there you have it, my second vegan lunch in Savannah, GA. If you're ever through there, then definitely look up Middle Eastern Cuisine, it is SO worth it. It's not far from the whole riverfront scene and it's a definite vegan treat. I'm glad that girl at the Mellow Mushroom told me about this place, because I probably never would have discovered it on my own. Although, NOW I know to look for places like this, that serve Hummus & Falafel, in the future, since those two items are inherently vegan.

So thanks for reading my blog today. I'm about to hit the streets again and do some more sightseeing, maybe with a big Margarita in hand. You know, it's legal to walk around on the streets here while drinking an alcoholic beverage. It just has to be in a plastic cup, and you can only have one drink with you. HA! Other than that, as long as you behave, it's perfectly legal. How cool is THAT?!?!

See everybody tomorrow!


Melanie said...

Hey, they sell falafel mix in the bulk bins at Natural Foods, just so you know.

Anne said...

I would reccomend falafel mix too, to get the right texture without actually grinding chickpeas.

Your last paragraph reminded me how strange the concept of alcohol zoning will seem to me when I get back to Canada. I live in Germany right now, and people can drink anywhere.

You're a very dedicated blogger!

SusanV said...

I have really enjoyed reading your updates from Savannah. It brings back old memories of when I used to go through there often. Thanks for your dedication!

kennyboy said...

Thanks everybody.

Hey guys, is that storebought falafel mix seasoned well enough?

Do you just add water?

Is that all?

I made some the other night from scratch, using canned chickpeas and it really didn't float my boat.

I've noticed some recipes have bulgur wheat in them also. I think the falafel that I had at this restaurant may have had bulgur in it. It made it REALLY good.

Melanie said...

I feel that the bulk falafel mix is delicious, just as it is. Plenty of spices and such.

liddy said...

oh come on, those are liveoak trees, not weeping willows. but from a local savannahnian, glad you enjoyed the city and the local flavor!

Anonymous said...

falafal is made from Fava and chickpeas that soaked overnight in water,grinded in food processor with parsley, coriander and garlic. you cant use canned chickpea because they are already cooked..completely wrong and the mix is absolutely disgusting and on a final note, Falafel is a typical arab middle eastern dish that Israeli pretend that it is their own..dont be fooled