Falafel King rules the plant-based falafel empire

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Any restaurant that presumes to go by the name Falafel King had better serve excellent falafel. Fortunately, not only does the Falafel King at 825 Colorado Boulevard serve great falafel, but the people serving it were charming and happy to point out the vegetarian- and vegan-friendly dishes on the roster (there are quiet a few of them). All of which adds up to royal treatment, indeed.

The lack of knickknacks and unnecessary decor items gives the restaurant a spacious feel and helps draw attention to the interesting tables and chairs. The menu doesn't take up much space above the line, either, but the "salad" options available are myriad and mostly vegetarian- (and vegan-) friendly: hummus, tabouli, baba gannoush, dolmas, house eggplant, Turkish tomato, marinated mushrooms, red-pepper hummus and more.

The falafel plate comes with six bite-sized falafel, a generous green salad with tahini dressing and a choice of two salad items; we went with the red-pepper hummus and tabouli. The perfectly formed fried patties were crispy on the outside and surprisingly creamy on the inside. The red-pepper hummus was good, but we wished we'd gone for the baba gannoush instead. And the tabouli was a surprise contender, light and refreshing, with a perfect balance of bulgur, carrots and herbs.

You can also order your falafel wrapped in a pita with a side of even more falafel -- or french fries.

There are two more Falafel King locations in the area, including one at 303 16th Street and the original Falafel King at 1314 Pearl Street in Boulder. For more information, call 303-443-1346 or visit www.falafelkingboulder.com.

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