When I first laid eyes on the Fat Falafel food truck, it was love at first sight. Sure, I was famished from not having eaten all day at Jazz Fest, and anything would have looked good. But then I have always been attracted to chickpeas (and all of their counterparts) and had yet to find my local favorite.
The story began in a similar way for co-owners/creators Theresa Galli and Gavin Cady, who started dating when they were students at Colorado College. After graduation, they decided to move to New Orleans “because it seemed like the most fun option,” Theresa says. Both were working brief stints in other restaurants when the conversation turned to falafel one day while strolling around Bayou St. John.
Six months later, in November 2012, the Fat Falafel opened its windows, and has since been named in Zagat’s 10 must-try food trucks. I had a chance to speak with Theresa about falafel, food, and the future.
We chose to do falafel, because it is such an amazing street food that wasn’t readily available in New Orleans.
What are you doing different/better than the other trucks out there to get recognition from Zagat?
We opened the truck because we love cooking and preparing good food. I think if you start with serving good food as your main goal and everything else is secondary, then you can create a menu that people will appreciate.
You obviously know good food. Besides the Fat Falafel, what are your favorite places to eat in town?
Pizza Delicious, Avery’s, Maurepas Foods, The Banh Mi stand in Hong Kong Market, Willie Mae’s, Nine Roses, Taqueria Los Poblanos (parked in front of Home Depot on Carrollton for lunch), and Mariza …. just to name a few…
Any plans of extending the menu?
We’ve only been open for (a very hectic) six months, and our menu currently doesn’t have as many specials as we would like. We’re hoping things will settle down soon and we will be able to experiment more often with special menu items.
Any plans of turning the truck into a restaurant in the future?
We are definitely planning on opening a restaurant at some point. It may be The Fat Falafel, or it may be something completely different.
Did I mention that you can substitute any pita for fries for a gluten-free meal? And that they have a bicycle delivery service in the CBD? I have faith in whatever direction this pair takes their future restaurant, as long as falafel is at least on the menu.
Follow @fatfalafel on twitter for the most up to date schedule of locations.
Rachel Kostelec writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.