I love meat.
Steak, chicken, fish, you name it: I eat it. I’m basically a carnivore…other than all of the fruits, vegetables, and carbs I chow down on. So when I ate dinner in Philadelphia with one of my vegan friends it was a daring exercise in faith. I let her choose the restaurant, placing my diet in her hands and hoping she wouldn’t lead me to PetCo’s rabbit food section. The stakes: our friendship (well, maybe it wasn’t quite that serious).
We stopped at Hummus Grill, a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant a few short blocks from Jefferson Station. The promise of hummus and my friends’ urging was enough to lure me (cautiously) inside the diner-esque building, which was furnished in jarring shades of orange and green.
The menu boasted a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and platters with a variety of vegan and meat-based dishes. I was ready to go in for the steak kabobs when my friend suggested we split a platter. They had plenty of food for two and were only $9.95, meaning I would be able to eat a full meal for only $5.
I was left with a choice: spend more money or eat vegan for a meal. Bracing myself for the worst, I agreed to split the falafel platter.
Our dish was finished a few minutes after placing the order. It consisted of falafel, pita, rice, hummus (of course) and a strange, minty quinoa salad with a name I couldn’t pronounce. Now was the moment of truth. Had my insidious vegan friend led me astray?
Actually, no. Despite being green and lacking animal protein, falafel, which is basically a ball of roasted chickpeas, is actually delicious. The outside is wonderfully crunchy, and the inside (despite looking a little strange) is the perfect blend of Middle Eastern spices. Turns out you can trust a person even if they don’t eat steak.