Flexibility is a virtue on the menu, and finding a way to expand an already popular item is always a wise move. The falafel sandwich at gastropub Publik Draft House enjoys popularity among diners—so it made sense to improvise on it. Enter the Falafel Balls—panko-encrusted housemade chickpea balls, along with quinoa salad, red pepper hummus and homemade tzatziki.
“We wanted a dish that was flexible as an entrée and also an appetizer,” says Executive Chef Tom Hall. “This is wildly successful as both.” The chickpea balls incorporate Mediterranean herbs and spices, and are deep-fried. They come with a side of carrots, celery and flatbread brushed with olive oil, sumac and paprika. Of course, the added benefit of falafel is that it offers a meatless option for vegetarian diners while answering the call for Eastern Mediterranean fare perfectly.