The Evolution Of New Orleans' Mediterranean Eatery, 1000 Figs


It's no secret that New Orleans has whole-heartedly embraced the mobile food trend. On any given day, you'll notice the colorful trucks parked at busy intersections, in front of office buildings, or near college campuses. For many of these vendors, these mobile businesses are the best way test the waters before making a greater commitment. For Theresa Galli and Gavin Cady, their food truck — The Fat Falafel — was the first step to a bigger dream: a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

The Fat Falafel opened its windows in December 2012 with the goal of creating delicious, affordable, and socially responsible street food. Falafel, which serves as the core of the vegetarian menu, is a Middle Eastern dish made from chickpeas, fava beans, or both, mixed with fresh herbs and spices like parsley, garlic, green onion, and cumin. These ingredients are then formed into small balls and deep- fried.

As one may expect, the three main dishes on the menu feature falafel along with an array of vibrant root vegetables and other fresh ingredients. In addition, French fries topped with Lebanese garlic sauce and Brussels sprouts tossed in lemon vinaigrette are both staples on the menu, and have been since the food truck's inception.

Two years, and thousands of falafels later, 1000 Figs was established out of The Fat Falafel's success. The Bayou St. John eatery opened in November 2014 in a space that a small bookstore once occupied. It is an unassuming, yet extremely charming space, with utensils and napkins hidden inside the drawers built into the tables, and shelves of cookbooks that visitors can actually check out.

Galli and Cady continue to pay homage to falafels, of course, but their Mediterranean menu now includes salads, small plates, and large plates. While The Fat Falafel only serves vegetarian cuisine, 1000 Figs does include a few meat dishes, like the Lamb Loin Chop and Chicken Salad Sandwich, for those looking to satiate a carnivorous craving. The core of all of its dishes is the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients that allow the menu to be ever changing. 1000 Figs just recently added beer and wine to its menu as well.

You can find The Fat Falafel serving up lunch Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in the Central Business District, or visit 1000 Figs Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.

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