This year we're marking the hundred-day countdown to Best of Phoenix 2015 by sharing some of our favorite dishes at restaurants all over the Valley. Have a suggestion for a dish you'd like us to try? Leave it in the comments section or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
78. Falafel Sandwich at Al Hana Restaurant
You'll find Al Hana Restaurant inside Baiz Market in Phoenix — but if you don't know where Baiz Market is, you're unlikely to just stumble upon it. This Middle Eastern market can be found on 20th Street north of Van Buren in the shadow of the I-10 freeway. And though it might not look like much on the outside, you'll find a surprisingly large grocery store complete with fresh produce, a butcher, a bakery, and a restaurant when you step inside.
The restaurant, Al Hana, serves some of the best Middle Eastern food in town — everything from hummus, kibbeh, and schwarma to grape leaves and baba ghanouge. I've explored the menu enough to know I like the tart citrus flavor of the tabbouleh and the small cheese pie over the spinach variety, but the best thing I've ever had at Al Hana is definitely the falafel sandwich.
For under $4 (before tax), this sandwich is big on flavor and unexpectedly filling. You get several tender patties of falafel wrapped in a warm, housemade pita and stuffed with a variety of vegetables. Tomatoes add a nice, sweet touch, while parsley and pickled turnips balance the richness of tahini. It's as good on the go as it is enjoyed at one of the tables in the restaurant's dining area, where you can watch other customers stocking up on bags of fresh pita bread, oversize tubs of olive oil, and fragrant spices.
The 100 Favorite Dishes so far...
100. Waffle at Matt's Big Breakfast
99. Pacific White Fish Taco at La Santisima
98. Beef Roll at Taiwan Food Express
97. Zinc Burger at Zinc Bistro
96. Goat Biryani at Khyber Halal
95. Key Lime Doughnut at Welcome Chicken + Donuts
94. Chicharrón Prensado Quesadilla at La Merced
93. Moist Succulent Pork Chop at Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe
92. Deep Fried Squid with Salt and Pepper from Nee House Chinese Cuisine
91. Coconut Raspberry Brownie at Karl's Quality Bakery
90. Fried Chicken at Phoenix Public Market Cafe
89. The Tyler at Cheese 'N Stuff
88. Hurricane Popcorn at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
87. Ceviche at El Chullo
86. Date Shake at Couscous Express
85. Red Bean and Rice Burger at Liberty Market
84. Banh Thit Nguoi at Da Vang
83. Breakfast Sandwich at Ollie Vaughn's
82. Crispy Pig Ears at Crudo
81. Parillada at Asadero Norte De Sonora
80. Warm Jar of King Crab and Butter at Little Cleo's Seafood Legend
79. Pumpkin Spice Macaron at Essence Bakery
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