Denver’s Garbanzo = Chipotle + Falafel. Be jealous! »
The A-students, stalkers, and private detectives among you may be aware that this Vegansaurus writer has recently left the cushy vegan comforts of the Bay Area for the wild west of Denver. I’m still mourning the loss of Ike’s Place (we barely knew each other!), Souley Vegan, and Millenium, but now at least I’ve found something y’all in New York and San Francisco should envy and covet: Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, a.k.a. the greatest fast food innovation since sesame seed buns.
Remember what life was like before Chipotle saved your road trips? We’ll call those times the Dark Ages, when there was no dependable vegan-friendly option sure to be in any town, any airport, anywhere. Yeah, fantastic local places are the best, but truly viable fast-food might be even more precious since it’s so…everywhere.
Well my friends, those of you who aren’t in Denver, Boulder, or Colorado Springs are currently living in another medieval period, which I will call the Pre-Garbanzo Era. I pity you.
As you can see from the epic photo above, Garbanzo serves up a mighty selection of falafel and accompaniments. The menu works just like Chipotle: They’ve got a bunch of tasty things you can combine however you like into wraps, bowls, salads, and (in this case) pitas. Vegan options include falafel, spiced rice, red cabbage, pickled eggplant, hummus, babaganoush, tabbouleh, and more. You also get your choice of sauces. And there’s soup.
One of my favorite things is this little label they have on every item. Just look for the…bear paw chickpea? Is that what that is?
This is not the best falafel I’ve ever had, but it’s good, and plentiful, and respectful of my dietary choices. The only bad thing is that most of the locations are in strip malls on the outskirts of town. I hope that changes.
Luckily for you non-Coloradans, the chain is just getting big enough to start franchising. According to their website, Kansas City, St. Louis, Omaha/Lincoln, Baltimore/Washington, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston are all up for grabs right now. All you moneybags should open one in your town.
Garbanzo is going places. Here’s to hoping it’s somewhere near you.