has its fair share of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern joints, but few of them offer the kind of customization as I Dream of Falafel.
Occupying the former location of Petra Cafe, the vegan-friendly I Dream of Falafel operates kinda like a Subway, except instead of sprucing up a sub sandwich the way you like it, you're free to concoct your own custom meal of shawerma, falafel hummus, kabob, etc. It's a novel concept. Plus, how can you not love a random nod to I Dream of Genie?
Each entree starts with a base; choose from white or wheat Lebanese roll ($5.25), golden rice ($7.25), salad ($7.25), or a bed of hummus ($6). From there, move down the counter to add beef sirloin shawerma, marinated chicken shawerma, grilled lamb kabob, or falafels. To finish, add one of five sauces like spicy tomato, tahini, or garlic and you've got yourself a tailor-made Mediterranean meal. Wash it down with a drink selection that goes beyond the usual sodas -- fresh-squeezed orange juice, carrot juice, mint green or Arabian tea.
The place is also open for breakfast, offering its own spin on omelets (with shawerma!), as well as toasted hummus.
I Dream of Falafel also tries its darnedest to please the vegan-friendly crowd, offering dolmas, baba ganoujeh, tabbouleh and a few soups and salads so vegetarians aren't relegated to the same meal each visit. Between the quick service, the clever customization, and the clean, simple dining room (featuring a multi-colored psychedelic mural), I Dream of Falafel is certainly a serviceable option for the lunchtimes when Subway just can't quite satisfy your craving for chickpeas.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert