In a city saturated with asian-fusion and Pacific Northwest fare, Portland's tasty falafel joints are often overlooked. This happens undeservedly so. The following restaurants, from Ethiopian to Lebanese, dish up their own delicious take on the golden chickpea rounds.
Aladdin's Cafe is the only Middle Eastern joint I've come across that dishes up Mehumara, a delicious dip combining pomegranate with jalapeno, olive oil, and walnuts. That alone will bring you out to deep 33rd Avenue, but so too should the lentil soup, which is perfect parts lemon and lentil.
At times, E'Njoni can be pricey (their lunch buffet, for example), to alleviate this visit their happy hour Mon-Fri 4-6pm. During these two hours enjoy discounted falafel sandwiches & traditional Ethiopian dishes.
It's advantageous that Cedo's Falafel has a smaller menu. You won't be out too much money when you feel compelled to try each item before making the difficult determination of which is your favorite.
Mediterranean restaurants and falafel are like Thai restaurants and Pad Thai: that signature dish acts as the entrance to the entire menu. If the falafel is no good, you don't go back. If the falafel nails it, you continue on, trying everything. The problem--if it can be called that--with Blue Olive is that the falafel is so amazing it remains difficult to venture on to other items on the menu. But it's worth it folks, venture on, venture on.
Nicholas Restaurant has expanded from its incredibly busy, incredibly small location on Grand to this one on Broadway. However, the steaming hot oversized pita bread, the humus, and the stuffing-yourself-on-pita-and-olive-oil-before-the-entree remain the same.