The Falafel Platter at Wafaa & Mike’s Café

Photo by Anthony Newkirk

Doing the job I do, I get asked a lot of questions about where to eat. For me to answer that question to the best of my ability, I must know the following: What are you in the mood for? What side of town? What kind of cuisine? What kind of atmosphere are you looking for? My foodie mind goes into overdrive. The most popular question people ask me is where’s a good place to get some good Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cuisine. Well, for those who’ve asked, I now have the answer: Wafaa & Mike’s Café.

Located on Main Street in the Springfield area, Wafaa & Mike’s is a family-owned restaurant run by husband and wife duo, Waffa and Chef Hussain Alabed. It serves up traditional Mediterranean cuisine with good, quick service. The food is authentic, and they use the freshest ingredients available. Talking to head Chef Hussain you can see the passion he has for cooking and the tradition behind the cuisine.

Photo by Anthony Newkirk

For this month’s taste test, I wanted to choose a dish that could fit anyone’s dietary needs and taste awesome at the same time. So, I decided to go with the falafel platter. This specific platter is filled with a favorable amount of delicious deep-fried balls of ground chickpea goodness. It is similar to a hushpuppy. The falafel is very light, delicious and has a nice crispiness to it. Chef Hussain rolls the balls in sesame seeds, giving the falafel a slight nuttiness. When you order the platter, it comes with two sides. There are quite of few traditional Middle Eastern dishes to choose from as a side order. I suggest the hummous, baba ganoush or the fattoush salad. I am a big fan of the hummous. The mix of chickpea, olive oil, tahini and lemon juice comes together so well, and the seasoning is excellent. The baba ganoush is a smoked eggplant dip, and it is creamy and full of flavor. Fattoush salad is a traditional bread salad; the dressing is a blend of mint, lemon, olive oil with pomegranate syrup. The dressing is perfectly balanced between tart and sweet.

So, there you have it. If you are looking for some good authentic Middle Eastern & Mediterranean food, Wafaa & Mike’s is the place to go – dishes made fresh daily and customer service that can’t be beat. Another plus, you can also get your oil changed next door while eating lunch. The restaurant’s namesake, Mike Al-Abd, owns A A Auto Repair of Springfield, and I hear he is a heck of a mechanic.

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