Shouk

As a former vegetarian, I now find myself constantly railing against vegetarianism and all restaurants encompassed therein. I rebel against my old hippie self by being an unapologetically callous meat-eater. I am basically the Alex P. Keaton of vegetarianism. This explains why I haven’t gotten myself to Shouk despite numerous recommendations. Furthermore, I know vegetables can be delicious on their own. You don’t have to prove it to me.

I ordered the Shouk salad with the additional falafel. The lemon-date balls next to the register also caught my eye. I’m trying not to eat added sugar, so after I grilled the cashier about the ingredients, I sprung for it. There is nothing not to like in here.

The salad took a surprisingly long time to put together, but I shouldn’t complain:

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The leafy things were super-fresh, and grilled cauliflower and eggplant gave this some additional interest. It was dressed right with a creamy tahini sauce, although I think it could have used some more spice. As for the falafel–it almost made me forget that there was no meat on this salad. Nothing makes me angrier than everything that’s happened politically in the last two years, but non-meat masquerading as meat is a close second. But falafel…mmmmm. Spicy, fragrant, crispy falafel.

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Also, these date balls made an excellent dessert. They were cool, sweet, nutty, herbal, and lemony all together. Such a perfectly simple little treat. These get a big thumbs up from me.

Price: $15 per person.

Bottom line: Shouk is simple and not-so-simple at the same time. It’s rare that a fast-casual joint makes you feel so good about what you’re eating.

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