Falafel Drive In – San Jose, CA

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I first heard of Falafel’s Drive In (2301 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128) years ago after seeing it featured on the Food Network’s Diner’s, Drive-In’s and Dives. I stopped by and had a gyro’s sandwich $7.25 large), and was severely underwhelmed. I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. A few months later, I happened to be in the area and I thought I’d give it another shot.

If you are going to a place  called Falafel’s Drive In, you kinda have to try the falafel, don’t you? I tried the falafel ($5.50 large), and NOW I get it. I’m by no mean’s a vegetarian, but I get this every time I come here now, along with a side of their hummus. I know you all know what a falafel is, but if you don’t, it is a deep fried ball of ground chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with onions, spices, etc. In the wrong hands, these can be dry and tasteless, but these are perfect. They are fried perfectly so they form a nice crunchy crust while keeping the inside moist and succulent. The falafel sandwich is served in a pita with lettuce,, tomato, onion, yogurt sauce and their fantastic home-made hot sauce. Even if you don’t like things spicy, you must get their hot sauce. I always ask for extra hot sauce, and they fill a paper boat of it for me. The hot sauce is sweet and tangy, with just a bit of heat.Perfect for the falafel. The sandwich itself is very balanced; crunchy, nutty, almost meaty falafel, crunchy vegetables, creamy yogurt sauce and the aforementioned hot sauce.

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The hummus is nice and creamy, and is served with slices of pickled radish and cucumber and dollop of the hot sauce and topped off with a drizzle of olive oil. A bag of pita bread comes with it as well ($6.75 large).

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Part of the appeal of the place is that it has been around since 1966, and retains not only the old-school neon sign, but the local, small town drive in feel, even though the city has grown up all around it. The rest of the menu includes, burgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings and wonderful shakes. The fresh banana shake is my favorite ($3.25).

There are other middle eastern favorites on the menu as well, including the gyros (meh), kifta, foul, koubby and more. Haven’t tried any of those except the gyros, and I probably never will because the falafels are that good. Is it the best falafel in the world? Who knows, but certainly the best I’ve ever had. Definitely know what Guy Fieri meant now.

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One Response to “Falafel Drive In – San Jose, CA”

  1. […] Review of San Jose, California’s Falafel Drive-In, Commending It’s Good Eats […]

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