Saturday, March 16, 2013

Eastbound Food Caravan, Part 1: Taza (Arcadia, CA) and Falafel Me(Azusa, CA)

I wouldn't typically consider going all the way to Azusa, not to mention Upland, but when Carl, the PR for Falafel Me, offers to pick up and drive me along with other bloggers, my answer was "why not!"

Our food caravan started with coffee and breakfast at Taza: a Social Coffeehouse, in Arcadia.


Taza is different than most "coffee shops" in Arcadia and SGV. Instead of boba drinks, they serve Handsome Roaster coffee.
On the weekends, the place gets even more special with pastries and croissants from Sharon Wang's Sugarbloom. Sharon, who comes in only on the weekends to showcase her pastries, had worked for Thomas Keller.

My favorite of her creations was the Spam musubi croissant. It isn't cheap at $4, especially for SGV standards, but it wasn't only the novelty of spam musubi, the croissant itself was perfectly buttery and flaky. I think it's definitely worth a try and worth returning for.
Spam Musubi Croissant

Another hit: pretzel croissant.
If you happen to come in on the weekdays, there's no need to fret. Taza's thick Belgian Waffles are available daily and they go great with coffee.
Belgian Waffle

IMG_3730Taza: A Social Coffee House
11 W Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 538-CAFE

Our next stop is all the way in Azusa: Falafel Me. Falafel Me was started by Robert Atallah, who popularized Mediterranean food 25 years ago in Santa Monica and also started Cedarlane Natural Foods. He plans on opening up multiple locations of Falafel Me later, but for now the Azusa location serves as a "test kitchen."
Their falafels are made with garbanzo beans, onions, garlic, and spices, fried until nice and crunchy.

The falafel sandwiches range between $4.95-$6.45. You can try them with curry sauce (The Taj Mahal), wasabi (The Samurai), or Italian style with mozzarella cheese and pesto sauce (The Al Capone).

I personally would go for the Kafta Kebab plate. The seasoned ground beef (made with top sirloin) and grilled tomatoes with rice make for a great lunch.
You may know by now that I don't normally order chicken, but in this case, Falafel Me's chicken shawarma and chicken kebab are the only things on the menu that come with their special garlic sauce. If you like garlic, you have to try it, this garlic sauce is pretty spectacular. Plus, a chicken shawarma sandwich is only $5.95.

Falafel Me
1123 E Alosta Ave
Azusa, CA 91702
(626) 335-3666
Falafel Me on Urbanspoon


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