To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.
Charbel Hamad wants you to focus on his wife Fadia's sweets when you visit his deli and bakery, and you probably should. His baklava is light and sweet compared to dense saccharine versions that often eat like a gut bomb. But the falafel served in this small storefront in Richardson may be one of the area's best kept secrets. It could be the best falafel in all of Dallas.
Hamad told me the falafel starts with a recipe he got from his brother back in Lebanon. He soaks dried chickpeas overnight and then runs them through a meat grinder. Then he folds in minced cilantro, parsley, onion, jalepeno, and garlic. Next Hamad waits. It's not until you place your order that he grabs some of the falafel dough and folds in baking soda and a blend of spices. Hamad claims that's the secret to these crusty herbal fritters. That's why they're light as air.
Whatever the reason these savory little fritters pack a lot of punch into a pillowy, fluffy package encased it an impossibly crunchy and savory exterior. Eat yours plain if you want but they're best enjoyed with a sandwich paired with tomatoes, parsley, pickles and tahini sauce. It will only set you back $3.99 so you should have plenty of scratch left over for all those sweets.
No. 100: The Cleaver and Block Burger at NHS Tavern No. 99: The Bone Marrow at the Meddlesome Moth No. 98: Arepas at Zaguan Latin Cafe No. 97: Jalapeno Poppers at City Tavern No. 96: Elotes: Everywhere No. 95: Dan-Dan Noodles at Royal China No. 94: Smoked Ham Mac and Cheese at The Porch No. 93: Chicken and Waffles at Jonathon's Oak Cliff No. 92: Regina Margherita At Cane Rosso No. 91: Devils On Horseback At The Chesterfield No. 90: Ginger Soy Baby Back Ribs at Tei Tei Robata No. 89: Croissants From Rush Patisserie No. 88: The Reuben At The Cock & Bull No. 87: The Brisket at Pecan Lodge No. 86: The Roast Chicken At Bolsa No. 85: Chicken-Fried Egg at Union Bear No. 84: Brisket Tacos At Manny's No. 83: The Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes at Smoke No. 82: The Oxtail Ragout at Central 214 No. 81: The Italian Beef At Jimmy's No. 80: Pulled Whole Hog BBQ Eggs Benedict at Smoke No. 79: Veal Cheeks At Bijoux No. 78: Sweet Shrimp At Yutaka No. 77: Pho At Lemongrass No. 76: Shanghai Buns at Jeng Chi Dumpling House No. 75: Pepper Bomb At Goodfriend No. 74:Veracruz Cafe's Sopa de Atlahua No. 73: Fish and Chips at the Londoner No. 72: Italian Combo At Carbone's No. 71: Breakfast Schnitzel At Crossroads Diner No. 70: Berkshire Pork Belly Buns at Howard Wang's Uptown No. 69: Bolognese At Princi Italia No. 68: Cabrito a la Parrilla at El Ranchito No. 67: Kimchee French Fries At sSahm Food Truck No. 66: Just About Any Burger At Off Site Kitchen No. 65: St. Pete's Chili Dog No. 64: Mesa's Enmoladas No. 63: Pork and Octopus at Oak No. 62: Spicy Crispy Wings At Malai No. 61: Spicy Fish Soup At Korea House No. 60: Deviled Eggs At R&D Kitchen