Whata Lotta Falafel

While Antone's Import Co. may make the most famous poor boys in town, the local chain is also responsible for a mean falafel sandwich ($3.49). Known as an Israeli hamburger, this fried, totally vegetarian patty -- made of ground chickpeas along with parsley, garlic and spices (I detected a hint of cumin and coriander) -- can be found throughout the Middle East, where it's normally served hot, or at least warm. At Antone's, these golden brown orbs, the size of Ping-Pong balls, have a thin, crispy exterior that yields to a dry, dense interior that falls apart as you eat it. A thick tahini sauce, made from ground sesame seeds, lemon and garlic, serves not only to bind the patties but also to moisten the pita bread into which four or five fritters have been stuffed. Lettuce, tomatoes and a slice of dill pickle also help keep the sandwich from being too dry. Available at four locations only (807 Taft, 9660 Westheimer, 8110 Kirby and 1440 South Voss).

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Paul Galvani