Where to eat this weekend: Oasis The Falafal Joint

BY BEN VERHILLE | APRIL 25, 2013 5:00 AM

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My first experience at this “joint” was before a Halloween pregame. I was wearing a banana outfit, which was something that I wish I could remember a little bit better. What I do remember, though, is the food tasted amazing, so I thought I’d revisit the place.

Overall, Oasis is not a bad place to go before your weekend plans, whatever they may be. I say “before” because it closes at 9 p.m. daily. But honestly, Oasis is a place you should know about if you live in Iowa City.

It took me a while to pick up on it, but we’ve all seen the Oasis containers in many on-campus eateries. Oasis is a local restaurant that specializes in Mediterranean foods and hummus.

A quick look at its website will show customer feedback indicates this place’s popularity.

Rachel says, “It’s basically heaven in my mouth.”

This one’s for you Rachel.

The Falafel Pita Gyro

This gyro is made with a pita pocket, stuffed with hummus, Mediterranean salad, baba ghanoush, falafel, and tender cuts of gyro meat. Workers tell me the pita sandwiches are the most ordered item on the menu. First-timers and regulars alike love the execution by Oasis on these plates.

I thought this was an eat-with-your-hands plate. It’s not. Luckily, the napkins were made of recycled material, because I had to use five of them before finishing the other half of my plate with a fork.

The first bite left me with a lot of diced tomatoes and cucumbers and hummus, but the entrée hit its prime once I got into the falafel, gyro, and hummus.

Oasis is the Falafel Joint for a reason. The rich texture and fullness of each patty tempted me to order extra falafel, but Mother always said to finish your plate before you ask for seconds. Every bite with these flash-fried delicacies makes me want to take back complaining about the first bite.

Then you reach the hummus dam. As soon as you finish the falafel, about all you have left is hummus and pita. Oasis sells its hummus from here to Linn County, so it makes sense the people there want you to have some. A lot, in this case, because only about 60 percent of it stayed with the pita; the rest had to go to the five napkins I used.

I did notice that there was no tzatziki sauce on the gyro. That threw me off a little, but I guess you can’t argue with what works. I wish I had had some of that instead of so much hummus.

This vegetarian-friendly location is a good option for some relatively healthy quick food that’s not overly pricey.

Where to eat this weekend:
Oasis — The Falafel Joint
206 N. Linn

What to try:
The Falafel Pita Gyro

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