The AP article, “Falafel to go: Mideast food chains expand abroad” illustrated with a photo of Cafe Bateel (Bateel is the Godiva of the United Arab Emirates but with dates not chocolate) quickened my pulse a bit.
Abroad doesn’t automatically equal the US, however. It’s Russia, Turkey, the “Far East” and more regions of the Middle East that are getting the slightly upscale cafes found in malls.
We’re also not getting Man’oushe Street, the Dubai chain specializing in the namesake flatbreads commonly topped with Kashkaval cheese, thyme and sesame seeds.
America just gets Just Falafel. The first US branch recently opened in Fremont, California (NYC and New Jersey are both listed as locations on the website) which prompted the addition of a new regional variation to its line-up of wraps called the Californian. You know, beets and salsa. There was already an American served on a sesame-studded bun with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar–and everybody’s favorite: cocktail sauce.
By that score, the New Yorker will be garnished with thousand island dressing and kidney beans?