This year, two very good Mediterranean-style spots -- Hummus Xpress and Tzikii Pita Grill -- opened in Tempe, luring diners with healthful, homemade creations packed into pitas, bowls, and plates, served Subway-style, and priced to please.
Their appearance couldn't be more timely.
All over the country, healthy eating is on the rise. And in the realm of fast-casual dining, that means replacing the iceberg lettuce and "lite" mayonnaise with roasted vegetables and well-seasoned sauces served up fast, fresh, and with a nod to all kinds of diets -- from vegan to gluten-free.
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Here's an excerpt from this week's review:
"And Hantas [of Hummus Xpress] isn't above adding a little Southwest flair to his superb falafels. Quite possibly some of the best in the Valley, their thin and crunchy coatings give way to a creamy filling of ground fava beans seasoned with cardamom and Mexican chili powder. They can be paired with moist Lebanese-style tabouli (made with cilantro, not parsley, Hantas says, so as to be easier on the palate), spicy shug, or a smoky chipotle hummus for a kind of Lebanese snack run through a Mexican kitchen."
Hungry for more? Read my full review of Hummus Xpress and Tzikki Pita Grill.