Hello Falafel Serves Up Tasty, Healthy Fare in Bay View
Over the last decade-plus, many creative food and drink entrepreneurs have redefined Bay View as a hub of all things foodie. New to the eclectic choice of restaurants is Hello Falafel, the latest endeavor of Odd Duck owners Melissa Buchholz and Ross Bachhuber. The fast-casual eatery packs a lot of homemade flavor into a small menu of salads, falafel, entrées, sides, fresh juices and other non-alcoholic drinks.
Diners can get orders to go or eat in the cheery space, painted an energizing shade of blue, with patterned accent pillows on a long wooden seating bench. There are five tables and also a counter by the window that overlooks busy Lincoln Avenue. The comfortable ambiance feels like a café in the Mediterranean.
Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food made with a base of seasoned mashed chickpeas. The dish has gained popularity in the West in recent years, likely due to its versatility and the growing popularity of plant-based eating. Diners at Hello Falafel can choose from four falafel entrées—all $8—that can be served on laffa bread or with saffron carrot rice.
The entrée simply titled “Red” tops the signature house-made falafel with savory roasted red pepper spread, oil-cured olives, feta cheese, and a tangy mixture of radishes and mixed pickles. Those just getting acquainted with falafel can choose the “Classic,” which tops falafel with hummus, mixed pickles, lemon tahini and red cabbage. Falafel is also available by the piece with a choice of one of four sauces ($4-$12). The toppings and sauces are made from scratch from fresh herbs, vegetables and spices.
There are four unique salad options ($4-$8) ranging from more basic, like the cool Cucumber Salad, to the adventurous Moroccan Carrot, which blends carrots, cous cous, dates, golden raisins, herbs, pistachio and charred eggplant. Sides ($3-$6) include lentil soup, eggplant fries, or charred halloumi cheese (a semi-hard brined goat’s milk cheese that grills easily) with fresh herbs and tomato chutney. The slight sweetness of the chutney nicely complements the creamy cheese. Fried cauliflower or pita with a choice of four dips rounds out the side dish options.
Food can be washed down with beverages such as rosemary rosewater lemonade, dill-basil-mint limeade, Anodyne coffee or Rishi teas ($2-$7). Made-to-order juices come in four varieties of combined fruits, vegetables and herbs (all $6 for a 12-ounce serving).
There are also daily food and drink specials. Many menu items are or can be made vegan or gluten-free. Eco-conscious customers will appreciate the compostable plates and cutlery. The portions are generous but not overfilling, and it’s easy to walk out the door of Hello Falafel feeling nourished and satisfied without emptying the wallet.
2301 S. Howell Ave.
Handicapped Access: Yes
Credit Cards Accepted, Gluten Free