Falafel Friday: Eat a Pitta
St Nicholas Market is a buzzing, vibrant feature of central Bristol, a must-see for visitors and an example of some of the fine Georgian architecture that proliferates the city. It’s also a terrific location for lunch. Stalls line the narrow walkways, overflowing with the smells and sights of cuisine from around the world. At lunch hour, the place is crowded with busy Bristolians eager to satisfy their hunger. By far the longest queue is at Eat a Pitta, which is the first indication of just how good their food is. The team are drawing people in with a free falafel taster: hot, crunchy and packed with flavour.
Though the queue is long, I’m not kept waiting. At least six orange-clad workers are busy serving customers from the bowls piled high with brightly-coloured salads, homemade hummus and sizzling falafel, and my order and payment are taken while I’m still in the queue. My server, when I reach him, is friendly, talkative, and efficient. It seems the most popular dish is the Small Falafel Box, so I opt for the same. Usually the plastic container and cutlery would put me off, but a sign says it’s Vegware and therefore biodegradable, so I’m happy.
It’s good. It’s really, really good. “You won’t be disappointed,” said the server when trying to snare me with the free taster, and he’s not wrong. The falafel itself is one of the best I’ve tasted: lovely crisp exterior, soft interior packed with flavour, and not too big so as to be stodgy. The box contains four balls, which is perfect. Accompanying my falafel is cous cous, olives, red cabbage, hummus, pickles, chick peas, tabbouleh, grated carrot, chopped cucumber and tomato, bulgar wheat and dressing. I tuck in hungrily, and each mouthful is a delight. I’m satisfactorily full by the time I’ve finished and at £5 it’s excellent value.
The only slight negatives are it’s very salad-heavy, so by the time I’ve reached the bottom, I’m yearning for something to mop it up, and with the box filled to bursting it’s difficult to eat. Next time I’ll try the pitta version which might address these two issues. Overall a great lunch: 4.5/5