Right outside my workplace on 20th and Market, you'll notice several food trucks on the corner. But the one you want to go to is unmistakable. Just head towards the sights and smells of charcoal-grilled meats and you can't miss it. Gus of Christos' Falafel Truck has a large following and the wait can be unbearable. It's not only because of the delicious smells you have to endure while waiting in line, but the wait that Gus forces upon his customers.
Why the wait? Gus makes sure your order is perfect and he needs to take the time to promulgate the fact that his ingredients are the freshest in the city. If you see a line 5 people deep, expect a wait of 20-30 minutes. And don't you dare contradict what Gus is saying or ask for 2 orders. You'll incur his wrath. In fact, one of my co-workers were banned for life for giving him lip and is now missing out on good eats for life.
So wait patiently on line, get your $10 ready and that's really all you need to do. He knows what you want and what you need - there's no ordering or substituting here.
Falafel Platter [$10]
Falafel, charcoal grilled chicken, chickpea red pepper rice, hummus, gooseberries, watercress, bread, orange
On one particular day, I received a freh watercress salad on top of a sweet hummus, which had a great garlicky undertone. Fair warning, garlic is the name of the game here - you won't realize it at first because it's incorporated so well, but eventually you'll realize it's quite overpowering. So carry some breath mints!
Underneath the salad was a bevy of charcoal-grilled chicken - extremely moist and juicy. One of the highlights of Gus's food truck is the fact that it's one of the few charcoal grill trucks in Philly - and he uses it to great effect!
In addition to the great chicken, the falafel was some of the best I have ever eaten. Incredibly garlicky, but light and crispy, I could eat this every day for the rest of my life and I wouldn't crave anything else. Yes, it's that good.
Between the potent, yet delicious garlic bombs and the incredible hummus, you're in for a treat. The falafel is better than Mama's Vegetarian and the bevy of trucks I've tried in NY. As Gus says, it's not the best in the city, in the planet. I believe it's a contender.
Underneath the falafel was tender red pepper rice as well.
And some gorgeous gooseberries from a South Philly market were provided - a nice palate cleanser in light of all that garlic.
I also received some lightly grilled baguette and an orange for later.
So for $10, this is quite a steal. Easily one of the best lunches in the city. Gus is available from around 11AM to 4PM during the week, but he's usually on vacation for most of the winter. If you see the smoke rising on 20th street - run, don't walk! Be sure to get your falafel fix.
Christos' Falafel Truck
20th and Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103