August 3, 2012
791 Raymond Ave. Saint Paul, MN | www.foxyfalafel.com
My new driving route to pick my wife up from work takes me up Raymond Avenue each day. Having dined at Caribe when it was still open, I couldn’t help but notice that the front of the old Caribe storefront had changed recently. Signs marking the grand opening for a new restaurant, Foxy Falafel, piqued my interest. I enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine and have waited patiently for the past week or so for Foxy Falafel to finally open. After work my wife and I stopped in for an early dinner to see what this food-truck-turned-restaurant was all about.
The interior of the restaurant is small and cozy, with a new paint job and new artwork displayed on the walls. We walked in, took a seat, and looked over the chalkboard menu. Having just opened today, Foxy Falafel offers a somewhat condensed menu, but I was told they plan to include more items in the near future. We placed an order for a few items and waited for the food to arrive.
Served as a side dish but certainly big enough to share, this plate of hummus and pita chips was a nice start to our meal. The hummus is light, flavorful, and obviously less “processed” that most hummus that you find out there. I also enjoyed the crunchiness of the pita chips, which were made at just the right thickness.
Our visit to Foxy Falafel’s grand opening would not have been complete without trying their falafel. The falafel were crisp, light in texture, and very hot. To go along with their dishes Foxy Falafel offers a variety of sauces including green tahini, spicy harissa, and picked mango sauce. My wife and I opted for the green tahini and spicy harissa combination for the falafel, which we thought worked very well. The tomatoes, cucumbers, and hummus within the pita added a welcomed freshness to each bite.
Another side dish for our meal was this simple presentation of eggplant salad. The salad was delicious, with just a slight touch of herbs. We enjoyed the “meatiness” of the eggplant alongside the sweetness of the roasted peppers.
For our second main dish we ordered the turkey shawarma. Prepared much in the same way as the falafel, we found the flavors of the turkey shawarma to be just a bit understated. The flavor and seasoning of the turkey was a little masked by all the other flavors (especially once the sauces were added), unlike the falafel which held its own and stood out among the other ingredients. Overall the dish was tasty, but I had wished to get a little more flavor from the primary protein.
On the same table with the various sauces are several jars of picked vegetables that you can add to your plate. After finishing one of our dishes I walked up and got a sampling of each picked item. I enjoyed each and every vegetable and found that they were pickled very nicely. They had just the right amount of acidity and seasoning.
It was easy to see from my visit the reasons why the Foxy Falafel food truck seemed quite popular. Everything that we ordered was fresh, utilizing quality ingredients. I found the seasoning and flavor of almost everything we had to be nicely executed, in particular the hummus and the falafels. The addition of the variety of sauces and pickled side dishes brings the food experience full circle. Having just recently moved to the South St. Anthony area, we are delighted to know that there is a place for us to go for good quality Middle Eastern cuisine.
791 Raymond Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55114