Eating at food trucks is a great way for college students on a budget to satisfy their appetites while keeping their wallets happy. I visited the vegetarian-friendly Gourmet Genie Mediterranean food truck in Pasadena on Saturday to check out what they have to offer.
In a sea of gourmet food trucks, the scent of garlic fries coming from Gourmet Genie drew me in right away. I sampled the fries and was overwhelmed by all of the different yet complimentary flavors that were working together on the fries.
The fresh cut potatoes were cooked to a perfect, golden brown crisp and topped generously with garlic that gave a kick the second it hit my taste buds. The garlic was balanced out by the vibrant, fresh mint leaves sprinkled throughout the fries. A touch of lemon juice really brought everything together with a hint of acidity and a refreshing, citrus taste. The fries were not greasy at all, which earned big points in my book.
After I gave myself a few moments to savor the flavorful magnificence that was the garlic fries, I took some time to review the Gourmet Genie menu. As a vegetarian, I’m used to having only a few options at best when eating out. Gourmet Genie offers many vegetarian-friendly dishes, so it was a nice change of pace.
Gourmet Genie offers falafel plates and pita sandwiches, cabbage salad, cous cous, hummus and homemade pita chips, tobouli and fatoosh salad to name a few. I decided to try the falafel pita sandwich for $6.
I was immediately surprised by the size of the dish. For only $6, I certainly got my money’s worth and then some. The homemade pita was still warm, and inside it was filled with freshly-made falafel, tomatoes, parsley, mint, tahini sauce and kosher pickles on a bed of crisp lettuce.
The falafel was some of the best I’ve had. The chickpeas used in the falafel were superb and it was cooked perfectly with a crispy outside and a warm, soft center. The tahini sauce was a great compliment to the falafel and kept it moist-nobody likes a dry falafel.
The parsley and mint brightened up the dish and helped to bring out the savory flavor of the falafel while keeping the overall taste of the dish refreshing. The pickles and lettuce added a nice crunch to the sandwich and everything came together really well. The only thing that I would have changed about the dish was the addition of garlic, but it was still one of the best falafel pita sandwiches I’ve had.
I would recommend the Gourmet Genie food truck to any college vegetarian looking to try something different for a great price.
The beauty of food trucks is that they travel all over Los Angeles County and the Gourmet Genie schedule is posted online. Gourmet Genie recipes are also posted online for those that want to re-create their dishes at home.