Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Amsterdam Falafel (or What Happens When the Seylers Eat Out).

The family (minus Emily) went out for dinner for my sister's (Al) birthday last Friday. Selecting a restaurant is always an interesting interaction, particularly when Al gets to make a decision as she is probably the biggest of all the people-pleasing children in the Seyler household--and everybody knows it. She initially says, "Let's go to Taste," (a favorite of all the Seyler ladies). Dad immediately quips that it will take too long, and we won't make 9:15 movie. So he suggests ... Jason's Deli. What?! While I do enjoy Jason's Deli (for lunch), it is not at all comparable to Al's first choice. I scoff. Then comes, "Well you pick a place, you're the restaurant reviewer." Ack! The pressure. I have lately been updating The Reader's database of all the restaurants in the metropolitan area, and it is freaking ridiculous. Fortunately, I rallied and made what was certainly the best choice (if I do say so myself). Amsterdam Falafel on 50th and Underwood is local and delicious (thus pacifying me), has good-to-decent design (pacifying Allison), is cheap (Dad) and is cool (Mom)--Emily doesn't care and had better things to do. But Dad remained a skeptic until he paid and had eaten his food. Upon entering the tiny establishment, Dad is baffled. There are three to five things on the menu, only one of which he understands (fries). He is whispering to me, "What is a falafel? What's on a kebab? Is there meat? Does it come with tomatoes?" I can feel his anxiety-level rising at the thought of getting something without meat and with those horrid, juicy red things. He must not have seen the giant spit of lamb meat in the open kitchen. The restaurant is small enough that our family of four practically overwhelmed it. Fortunately, the proprietor was happy to explain the process for making the more-than-sufficiently meat-stuffed (and tomato-less) kebab with a choice of garlic, herb and spicy sauces. Meals for four with two orders of fries and sodas all-around cost $26. And everyone more than enjoyed their enormous kebabs. These guys come stuffed with chickpeas, a red cabbage relish sort of thing, an herby tzatziki sauce and a grip of meat. We should have shared.

I love this establishment not just for it's food, but because it reminds me of the kind of place that would be in New York's West Village or, I don't know, Paris' Latin Quarter (which I have been to, and they do have Greek/Turkish food galore, so I'm not just saying this). It's small, and like New York dining establishments where space is a commodity, there is no lobby. And if you haven't experienced the late-night European scene, kebab stands stay open well after the bars close, serving hungry drunk people on their way home from the bars.

So the reason why I like this place is because it doesn't seem like the kind of restaurant Omaha would have (and they employ one particularly attractive fellow, and I mean particularly attractive, as in extremely). Yes, it's a lame reason to like a place, but I don't care.

Photo Credit: UNO Gateway

9 comments:

Craig said...

i can't believe i didn't see your falafal boyfriend while i was there, but at least i got to eat there anyway!
good post.

Lainey said...

i haven't seen him since i embarassed myself in front of him. i'm worried he quit. and he won't return my obsessive phone calls or frantic facebook messages (just kidding, i have not resorted to complete stalker yet).

Anonymous said...

I (Al) am honored to be in your blog, even if I am the "people-pleasing" child, which is totally true. You will be satisfied to know that mom sent me a link to your blog.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that you are extremely unfair to your father in this story. You have made him a foil for your stereotypical treatment of hard-working fathers as narrow-minded, conservative cheapskates. For shame!

Lainey said...

my dad, cheapskate!? are you talking about the dad who just updated us to 1000 text messages a month? that dad?

snekse said...

How was the photo taken?

Lainey Seyler said...

that photo is from uno's newpaper i believe. can't take credit for it. it does have the imprint on it, though i should go back in and give proper credit. thanks.

snekse said...

Didn't know if you had a connection to the paper and were involved in the shot, so I figured I'd ask. Thanks for the info.

lindsey baker said...

as i was reading this, i was like, where's the boy? where's the boy? and then, there he was. :)