From Katie Andriulli. Email her at katie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @kandriulli.
This week we fell in falafelove with the DC Ballers truck.
The “balls” in DC Ballers’ namesake are falafel patties (my third favorite type of ball following meatballs and arancini… I’m Italian, deal with it) but the truck also specializes in hummus, French fries (regular or Greek style with feta, oregano and olive oil) and other Middle Eastern delights including Tabouli (tomato, onion, parsley, mint, and bulgur wheat in a lemon mint dressing) and Israeli salad (tomato, cucumber and parsley in a lemon mint dressing). Carnivores take heed: DC Ballers is meat-free, but the falafels are so hearty you really won’t miss it.
Platters (hummus, with or without a falafel, plus Tabouli, Israeli salad and pita) range from $7.50 to $9.50 and sandwiches range from $5.50 to $7. You can also get a side of fries with dipping sauce for $3.50, Greek fries for $5 (well worth the extra $1.50), and hummus, falafel, Israeli salad and Tabouli are all available a la carte for $4 to $5.50. Fresh ginger-mint lemonade, on special, was $2.50.
- Wait time: 5/5. There was no line when I arrived promptly at noon, and my food was handed to me (hot!) in less than 60 seconds.
- Service: 5/5. Efficient and friendly. And they take cards. What more do you need?
- Bang for your buck: 4.5/5. My order of hummus with falafel came with a sizeable pita, four falafel balls and a TON of hummus, and was filling enough to stretch to two meals, turning my $7.50 lunch turn into two $3.75 lunches, which is pretty magical. The extra $2.50 I paid for their homemade lemonade seemed a little steep, although not inconsistent with what other trucks charge for similar beverages, so I’ll allow it.
- Deliciousness: 5/5. As a self-described hummus connoisseur, I have probably tried every brand I can get my hands on, but DC Ballers’ puts all of the others to shame. It’s seriously stellar… smooth and creamy with just the right amount of garlic (i.e., lots) and tahini. Game over Sabra. Pack up your individual hummus n’ pretzel cups and saunter on out of here. Thanks for playing.
I have had many a falafel in my day as well and I can say with moderate authority that DC Ballers’ are right up there with the best I’ve had… crunchy and flavorful and they didn’t instantly disintegrate once cut into. The tahini sauce drizzled on top (and in an extra container on the side) provided a lovely dipping sauce and compliment to the hummus.
Now, this whole operation could have fallen apart if the pita was second rate, but luckily, the Ballers have that locked down as well. The pita was obviously freshly baked since it was handed to me piping hot in tin foil. It was thick enough to support the weight of my self-made falafel sandwich without being too bready, and I also I loved the za’atar spices sprinkled top, which gave it a little extra zest.
I also sprung for the homemade ginger-mint lemonade, which was quite pleasant, but could have benefitted from a bit more ice, and/or the addition of gin.
Admittedly, after a weekend of eating badly (re: basically an entire 3-pound calzone in one sitting on Sunday… whoops) I could not muster the courage to order the truck’s other signature dish, the French fries, at lunchtime. However, an acquaintance of mine mentioned that she had tried the Greek fries before and that they were pretty stellar and she is generally pretty reliable, so just take her word for it, okay?
- Overall: 5/5. Assuming your co-workers aren’t vampires, they won’t mind a bit of a garlic smell in the air (or on your breath) so go get Ballin’.