They’ve got fast-food falafels down to a science at this popular San Jose drive-in
I’ve been to my share of drive-ins that serve up burgers, tacos, doughnuts, you name it. But falafels? That’s got to be a new twist.
Actually, Falafel’s Drive In has been a San Jose fixture since Anton and Zahie Nijmeh opened the place in the mid-1960s. Now, they’ve got it down to a science.
No sooner do I order, and pay for, my $4.25 falafel half sandwich, than the server is handing me this generous pita stuffed with parsley-speckled, crispy chickpea balls and family-recipe tahini and hot sauce. Ten minutes after I drive in, I’ve finished off this savoury dish and drive out, well satisfied and ready to hit the road again.
Half a falafel is leaving me more than half full
Falafel’s Drive In
2301 Stevens Creek Boulevard, San Jose, California
Monday to Saturday 10 am-8 pm, Sunday 10 am-6 pm
Joe delivers my pork pineapple sausage at Happy Dog in San Jose
I’m parked somewhat precariously at a 10-minute-only stall in front of a 7-Eleven near San Jose State University. Joe, the manager at Happy Dog next door, says it will take seven minutes to prepare my pork pineapple sausage.
The good news, then, is my dog will be made to order. The bad is I’ll only have three minutes to choke it down or risk a ticket, tow or reprimand. So, I’m keeping one eye on my watch and the other on proceedings as Joe lightly grills a fresh French roll and walks the grilled dog aboard. I add a squirt of mustard, a sprinkling of sauerkraut and a healthy dose of Joe’s homemade, crunchy pickled cabbage.
“If it’s a good dog, you don’t need ketchup,” he declares. Agreed. Still, by the time everything’s loaded up, I’ve got scant seconds to legally choke the hot dog down. But with the first bite through the bursting skin into the meaty goodness within, my efficient resolve dissolves. “Screw it. I’m savouring this puppy.”
284 South 11 Street, San Jose, California
Daily 11 am-10 pm, except 9 pm Sunday. Cash only