Best Fast Food You'll Want to Eat Very Slowly


Fast-food fanatics don't even want to pause long enough to sit: Glancing up at a menu that they probably already know by heart, they order, pay, and then get handed their bags, buckets, or boxes almost before they've had a chance to blink. Die-hards eat while they walk. Chick-O-Pea's screws with their routine. Its specialty is falafel, which travel guidebooks used to call Israeli hot dogs: fast food. But here the crunchy, spicy chickpea patties come stuffed into chewy-fluffy house-baked bread, topped with as much as thirteen different Lebanese-style salads as you can pile on from the falafel bar, plus lashings of tahini, and, for those who enjoy igniting their tongues, harissa. You couldn't eat one of these fat overflowing treasure troves while walking, even if you wanted to. So pick a little table in the sun. All-vegetarian and mostly vegan — owner Kamran Nassiri became a vegetarian ten years ago — Chick-O-Pea's also serves soup, salads, appetizers, meatless burgers, and crisp slender french fries with creative flavorings ranging from pesto to saffron to jerk. Bright flavors and compelling textures await with every bite; the falafel bar, which doubles as a salad bar, includes black-eyed-pea relish, dilled cucumber, herbed cauliflower, hummus, jicama, tomato salsa, peppery crinkle-cut carrots, sweet roasted beets, pickled red onions, pickled celeriac, taratour tahini sauce, a Levantine coleslaw, and zhoug, Yemen's cumin-spiked answer to green salsa.
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