January 30, 2005 11:43 PM | By Adam Roberts | 4 Comments

Dig That Crazy Chickpea

In the East Village is Chickpea, a falafel joint that I'd been to once before and went to the other day with my classmates Molly and Patty. It was perfect. By perfect, I mean: it really hit the spot. See, Patty said she was "really sick of diner food." That's because my classmates and I always go to diners. And Patty was sick of them.

I was sick of them too, I think, because I really enjoyed Chickpea. I ordered a falafel sandwich and it came on awesome puffy pita with lettuce and some kind of sauce: (there are two here--one's mine, one's Patty's):


This is what I need in my life. Falafel sandwiches like this one. It's new and exciting and gives me what I crave: bread, meat (ok, it's not meat, but it feeels like meat), veggie and sauce. The falafel itself is unusual in that it's green. The color comes from cilantro and parsley they mix in with the ground chickpeas. I like it.

Then, just to be extravagant, I ordered hummus for the table. It was so cool watching them make it. They mounded it on the platter then spun it into some kind of pattern and squirt oil in the middle and sprinkled it with what I think was paprika. They only gave us one pita to share for three but we made do:


We loved it.

"We love it!" we said.

"This is really good hummus," said Molly.

I was overjoyed. I also bought a lemonade which was watery but a nice accompaniment to everything else. On the walk back to school, guess who we saw? Paul Giamatti. Not sure how that ties in, but somehow I think it does. Don't you? Chickpea's good.


It's probably not paprika, but sumac, which you can get at any Middle Eastern grocery.

I like falafel and all, but I'm glad you included the Paul Giamatti sighting, even if it wasn't relevant, because that was the best part. He rocks and he was robbed! Ah, who needs an Oscar anyway?

The traditional Lebanese recipe for hummos handed down by my great grandmother DID call for a sprinkling of paprika, as well as a drizzle of good olive oil. The sauce for falafel is usually mostly "tahini," which is like sesame seed butter. God love a falafel -- funny name, incredibly tasty sandwich!

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