Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar – A Mediterranean Experience In South Florida

Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar
5677 Coral Ridge Dr.
Coral Springs, FL
Falafel Bistro
Facebook Page
Twitter Page
(954) 346-3434

by Andrea Medalie

 

 Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar

Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar

 

Don’t let either the name or the location fool you; this South Florida suburban strip mall dining establishment is far from your average neighborhood fare. When I say far, I mean Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar (FB) takes your palate on a journey to remote destinations along the Mediterranean, brimming with exotic herbs, spices, flavors and textures. FB is conveniently located in Coral Springs, FLorida,  just off the Sawgrass Expressway (869), at 5677 Coral Ridge Dr., in the Heron Lakes Plaza.  Hungry patrons come from near and far to immerse themselves in this sophisticated, multi-sensory atmosphere created by chef/owner and culinary genius, Ilan Cohen. But be forewarned, once you sample his fare, you will undoubtedly become addicted!

Falafel Bistro

Falafel Bistro

 

Menu Legend

Menu Legend

 

My running/dining partner and I eat there or grab take out at least once a week as do many of our friends and neighbors.  Simply put, nothing else compares! Falafel Bistro isn’t exactly vegan, but it certainly does offer several satisfying vegan-friendly options, more than any other mainstream restaurant I know of. There are even Meatless Mondays now, when Ilan offers his signature falafel pita sandwich special for $5.00, and hummus made from scratch, $.50 extra.

 

Whole Wheat Pita With Hummus

Whole Wheat Pita With Hummus

 

What’s more, the staff is highly trained and service is typically impeccable.  Seven years ago, Ilan and his wife, Lauren, made the decision to move down from New York, saying goodbye to cold weather for good. Drawing from his experience running a restaurant/lounge in Jerusalem, the couple opened up Falafel Bistro in its original location, as a small Kosher dairy restaurant which also offered fish. After 3 years, inspired by a health-conscience society and his constant need to achieve, not to mention the demands of a somewhat persnickety local community, Ilan chose to drop the Kosher certification and move to his current location.

 

Dinner Vegetable Coucous

Dinner Vegetable Couscous

 

He expanded the menu to include yes, meats, but also a wide array of reasonably-priced fresh, gourmet vegetarian/vegan dishes (many gluten free).  Customers may enjoy an array of delicious foods, from homemade soups to appetizers, substantial wraps and flatbreads, hearty main dishes and finally unique desserts, courtesy of Lauren, pastry chef extraordinaire .

 

Salad Side with Kabob Plate

Salad Side with Kabob Plate

 

In addition, there is a trendy and inviting bar, home to a selection of quality wines (some vegan) in addition to craft beer on tap. Nightly happy hour is from 5-7 where drinks are 2 for 1, making it very enticing for locals to stay, um… LOCAL! This joint is definitely jumping!!! What’s more, DJ Ilan mixes it up on the turntable for Ladies’ Night every Thursday.

 

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

 

For starters, the soups are a MUST! There are three to choose from daily, and most, if not all, are vegan and gluten free (cup $4, bowl $6). The mushroom barley (not GF) is our absolute fave but unfortunately, it isn’t always available. So we are perfectly content sharing a bowl of hearty lentil or yellow split-pea soup, practically licking the bowl clean! Sometimes we splurge and indulge in the succulent sauteed cauliflower appetizer ($12.50) served with a sweet and spicy date sauce. Pricy but so worth it! However, this time around, our budget didn’t allow.

 

Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

 

 

Yellow Split Pea Soup

Yellow Split Pea Soup

 

We tried the homemade vine leaves ($11.50) on another visit that I thought were worth mentioning; vine leaves stuffed with apricots and figs, baked in a homemade tomato sauce. Being the ambitious chef that he is, Ilan manages to stay way ahead of the trends. I recall having quinoa for the first time at his old place and I realized that it was indeed Ilan who first put quinoa on the map in our area, which in turn became a staple on his menu. Vegans and non-vegans alike just cannot get enough of his quinoa, served hot as a side or cold as an entree salad with grilled vegetables ($14). I have tried to no avail to duplicate this popular high-protein, gluten-free pseudo grain that somehow only Ilan is able to transform into anything but the usual side dish.

 

Vine Leaves

Vine Leaves Stuffed With Apricots & Figs, Baked In Signature Tomato Sauce

 

My partner and I religiously order the vegan kabob plate ($16.50) which sounds pricey but the portion is so generous that we always split it. As a long-time vegan, I may know a thing or two about veggie burgers, and again, Ilan somehow uses his magic to whip up an incredibly moist, tender yet crispy vegetable mushroom patty rendering a taste of umami like nobody’s business. The dish comes with three decent-sized patties, ample hot quinoa, hummus (never enough), a house salad with avocado and a pita. All we have to do is add another whole wheat pita, top with their three special sauces (tehina, curry, spicy chili) and voila! We have the perfect meal fit for two hungry runners!!!

 

Vegan Kabob Plate

Vegan Kabob Plate

 

Three Special Sauces: Tahini,

Three Special Sauces: Tahini, Curry & Spicy Chili

 

On occasion, we have been lucky enough to come on a night when the dinner veggie couscous ($11) is served; a savory vegetable stew served warm over fluffy couscous, the perfect example of comfort food! Usually, we are too stuffed for dessert but seeing that we the skipped the cauliflower, and this particular dessert special piqued our curiosity, we went for it with no regrets. Warm and bubbly blueberry rhubarb cobbler, vanilla ice cream on the side for my non-vegan companion ($8.50), was just the right amount of sweet mixed with fruity goodness. Truth be told, I could’ve used a scoop of creamy coconut-based ice cream melted over the top. I do see homemade vegan ice cream in their future, wink wink.

 

 

Blueberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Blueberry Rhubarb Cobbler

 

Always on the menu, the melt-in-your-mouth vegan date and warm cashew crepe ($8.50) is a favorite I have devoured in the past. Fruit sorbet is also available from time to time. So if you happen to be in the South Florida area and are looking for authentic Mediterranean cuisine with a flair that can accommodate everyone in your party, look no further than Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar! Open daily, from 11 am-9 pm Sun-Mon, 11 am-10 pm Tues-Wed, 11 am-11 pm Thurs-Sat, brunch (vegan options) served Saturday and Sunday from 11 am-3 pm.  Outdoor seating is available, where dogs are welcome too. On Monday, June 16th starting at 5:30 pm, there will be a 7th year Anniversary Party with complimentary wine and falafel, live music and Brazilian jazz so stop on by!!!

 

 

Andrea earned an MS degree from The University of Florida and is a mom to 3 incredible sons. She works as an independent Speech and Language Pathologist within a diverse population in the Northwest Broward County, FL area. She LOVES to plan destination marathons (when budget allows) where she get to visit new cities and discover fab vegan/veg friendly restaurants/cafes/markets. Andrea has been a vegetarian for over 20 years, vegan for about 10. “It’s very exciting to see how society is beginning to truly embrace veganism for improved health, animal welfare and a greener environment!” she exalts. Andrea has developed a blog (book in the making) for vegan female endurance/hard core fitness athletes a.k.a.VeGAL (Vegan Girl AthLetes). Andrea’s territory is all of South Florida!  Contact Andrea Contact Andrea to review your favorite veg-friendly restaurants within her territory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive weekly news and updates from VegginOutAndAbout.

You have Successfully Subscribed!