forkfork fork

very good

Cost: Last visited: #of visits: Where? What to Get What to Skip
Inexpensive 06/04 lots 603 S 4th St.
falafel,shish kebabs, hummous -

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Alyan's is a small middle-eastern spot just off the corner of 4th and South streets. There are two small seating areas on the main floor, and when it gets really busy, an upstairs dining room is opened.

All the food is prepared in an open kitchen right by the front door. The food is fairly simple, mostly falafel, shish-kebab and the like, but it is all prepared to order, so it is fresh and mostly excellent.

The falafel can be had several different ways, as an appetizer, a sandwich or on a platter. These are very good falafels, wonderfully crisp chickpea fritters, with plenty of parsley and other flavorings.

But my favorite thing here is the shish kebab. They offer chicken, lamb, beef or mixed kebabs, served as either sandwiches or platters. The sandwiches are good values, but I have never managed to get through one without the pita disintegrating into a soggy mess. A tasty mess yes, but they are a little tough to eat gracefully.

The platters are much more satisfying, and not just from a neatness angle. They include a good-sized mound of excellent hummous (a chick-pea and sesame dip) drizzed with olive oil, and a fresh salad piled on the end of the plate. A basket of warm pita helps scoop up the hummous, and sop up juices.

Alyan's offers many of the other usual middle-eastern specialties, kefta, kibbeh, grape-leaves and loads of other great food. The Alyan's fries are good too, with onions and peppers giving them a bit of spark.

The decor is nothing to write home about, plain tables, tourism posters on the walls, and middle-eastern pop on the speakers, but you don't come here for the ambiance, you come for good, quick, cheap food.

Sandwiches are about $5-6, platters are under $10.

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