I’ve been waiting to write this review for a time where I can focus my mind on the greatness that is Simply Falafel. Buried within the heart of Edmond, it’s some of the most authentic Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food available in the city. I always, always always have a top notch meal here. Part of that is due to the food, but mostly the hospitality of the owner, Magid Assaleh.
I have to tell you, I have a long history will Simply Falafel. I know you wouldn’t peg me for it, but I lived in Edmond for about 6 years. Four years for my college degree, and then I hung around as an employee at the UCO Alumni Relations Office. I lived in a 600 sq ft garage apartment with no Internet, no A/C, and the bathroom was connected to the kitchen. I watched a lot of Friends on DVD, took walks around campus and I always had a styrofoam box of spicy Simply Falafel hummus in the fridge.
When I lived in Edmond, I ate there at least once a week. It’s really one of the only things that I miss about Edmond. Many lunches spent with Reagan, my co-worker at UCO, talking about life, work and anything in between. Very sweet moments.
It’s an unassuming restaurant, right across from the Super Target on Second St, tucked away in a tiny strip mall. You walk in and the smell or herbs and spices hits your nose. There’s a great natural light, and Magid is almost always there to greet you.
I recently got to visit Simply Falafel with my friends Ed and Emily (you can listen to their episode of OKC OVER EASY here), and also with my boyfriend Mike. He had never eaten Middle Eastern food before. So we stood at the front of the restaurant looking over the menu (I had a laundry list of things that I wanted to eat already forming) and Magid approached us and told us to sit, that he would bring us food.
What we didn’t know is that Magid has us experience the new offering, “Family Style”. For $15 a person, you share a hummus, falafel, gyro chicken, gyro lamb, basmati rice and veggies. He set the hummus out for us first.
HUMMUS AND PITA
You guys. I am a lover of hummus ($6.50) and this one takes the cake. So rich and creamy (I think one time I heard he puts yogurt in it), and the flavor is just out of this world. It’s served with warm pita, and I could easily eat the whole thing in one serving. I tend to get it “spicy”, which means he puts a hot chili sauce on top. There’s really nothing better in my opinion.
So this is the dish I would order once a week. The Greek Salad (Mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, topped with feta cheese, served with green olives and our special Mediterranean dressing) with lamb gyro on top was my go-to lunch option. The dressing is Magid’s own recipe, and he makes it fresh every day. This is not your typical greek salad. Everything about it is fresh, flavorful and delicious.
The Falafel. ($4.50) (Chickpeas ground with fresh parsley, assorted spices and fried; served with cucumber yogurt sauce and toasted pita.) My god. One of my favorite items on the menu. I tend to order the half and half platter with lamb gyro and falafel. Mike loved this, and I’m almost positive he’s never had falafel before. The cucumber-yogurt is made fresh in house, and it’s the perfect compliment to the warm falafel. Trust.
When they brought out this tray, everyone’s jaws dropped to the floor. I had tried everything on the “Family Style” platter previously except for the sauteed veggies, and everything was still up to par. The gyro lamb was tender and flavorful, the chicken gyro went amazingly with the garlic sauce (if you try anything here, make it this. So simple and so good) and the veggies were almost flash-fried, so they were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Paired with a mountain of basmati rice, we left feeling more than full, and with huge box of leftovers that heated beautifully the next day. Magid let us know that you can order family style to-go, for $15 per person. This is the deal of the century and probably what I want for every family event from now on.
If this glowing review does nothing but get you to try Simply Falafel, my work here is done. It’s a hidden gem within Edmond, and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.