Restaurant Review – I Dream of Falafel

I’m always on the lookout for a healthy, fast-casual restaurant. This week, I found my new obsession. IDOF, short for ‘I Dream of Falafel’ is quick, Mediterranean heaven. With eight locations in the Chicagoland area, clearly other people think so as well. I popped into the Lakeview location- at 851 W. Belmont. The menu has a “Create-Your-Own” format. You begin by choosing either a pita, wrap, salad plate, or create-your-own (CYO) plate. I decided on a salad plate: your choice of crisp spring mix or fresh baby spinach, along with your choice of protein, toppings, and a house dressing. My protein options were falafel, chicken shawarma, chicken kebab, gyro, or kefta kebab. I decided on the chicken kebab, described as “juicy, marinated cubes of grilled chicken”. There were so many toppings to choose from: tabouli quinoa salad, cabbage slaw, pickled turnips, cucumber and tomato, crumbled feta, olives, lettuce, pepperoncini, sumac onions, and pickles. I decided on tabouli quinoa salad, cucumber and tomato, crumbled feta, olives, and sumac onions. Finally, I could choose my own sauce: IDOF hot sauce, tzatziki, spicy tomato, tahini, or garlic. I love tzatziki and judge Mediterranean restaurants on their tzatziki quality, so I knew I had to go with that. This was absolutely delicious. The vegetables were fresh and crunchy, always a necessity for a good salad. I loved the tabouli quinoa salad- the flavors were bright and zingy and the quinoa gave the salad great texture. The sumac onions were another hit! I love pickled things and the flavor was fantastic. The tzatziki absolutely lived up to my expectations. I can’t wait to come back and try a pita or a CYO plate!

The Belmont location is open from 11 am to 10 pm Saturdays through Sundays. For more detailed information on other locations and their hours, check out their website.