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Tasty Falafel sandwich at Sabra Grill [San Francisco]

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fine wino Oct 10, 2006 09:14 PM

I just came from lunch at Sabra Grill on Grant (near the Chinatown Gate) and I gotta say that was the best falafel sandwich I've had in quite some time.

I got there about 11:45 and no one else was up there. I don't know if they make the falafel to order as a rule or just because it was still quiet up there but once I put in my order, the cook measured out the balls in a little cup and popped them one by one in the fryolater. They were warm and crisp and really flavorful, served in that great pillowy pita bread that is hard to come by in these parts. A nice change from the usual lavasch roll-up.

All the fixins' were top notch: vine tomatoes at their peak of ripeness, crisp iceberg, excellent tahini sauce with just the right touch of garlic, chive and lemon and a couple bites of pickle on top. My only improvement would have been thinner slices of pickle incorporated throughout the sandwich. Next time I'll ask for xtra pickle.

Great lunch option at $5.50 a sandwich. And this place blows Oasis away. I'd walk the 5 blocks to Sabra any day rather than cross the street from my building for Oasis. Looking forward to a return trip to try out some of the other offerings.

Note that they're closed on Sat.

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  1. jupiter RE: fine wino Oct 11, 2006 12:01 AM

    I have been wondering about this place for awhile and am glad to hear that the price is way cheaper than what is posted in the menu case. (which reads something like 9 dollars for falafel!)

    anyway, i will check it out tomorrow for lunch.

    Is the sandwich rolled in pita? or do they do it isreali style and open the pita up like a half moon and stuff everything inside? I am assuming it is done that way.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jupiter
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      fine wino RE: jupiter Oct 11, 2006 04:28 PM

      Half moon style and the pita is so fresh! Maybe the $9.00 price is for the falafel platter, which comes with hummus, salad and table pickles (still a little pricy for lunch - and too much food for me anyway). I think the platters are dine in only.

      1. re: fine wino
        jupiter RE: fine wino Oct 11, 2006 04:45 PM

        wait, you got your sandwich to go?
        they make them to go?
        that makes the whole thing even better!
        now i am totally there for lunch.

        1. re: jupiter
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          fine wino RE: jupiter Oct 11, 2006 04:52 PM

          Yeah, there's a separate to go board posted behind the register. It's an abbreviated version of the full menu - mostly sandwiches and kebabs. Take a sandwich to go and enjoy it in that nice park near by - St. Mary's or something like that.

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      Leadbelly RE: fine wino Oct 11, 2006 12:54 AM

      Note that they are also one of the few kosher restaurants in or near the financial district.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Leadbelly
        Melanie Wong RE: Leadbelly Oct 12, 2006 06:05 AM

        One of the few kosher restaurants in all of San Francisco!

      2. Melanie Wong RE: fine wino Oct 11, 2006 05:15 AM

        Great, thanks for the update. There'd been some rumors of changes there, sounds like the falafel have survived intact.

        Chowdown Report at Sabra Grill -
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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          djh RE: fine wino May 22, 2007 01:28 PM

          A beautiful day in SF today so I walked an extra block up Pine from my usual lunchtime routine, hung a left on Grant and saw this place across the street and thought I'd give it a try. Looked like a chowish place, but empty upstairs, so I did not have high hopes -- but was pleasantly surprised by the lamb shisk pita sandwich I ordered.

          A good helping of flavorful, gamy kosher lamb, rough chopped pickles, hummus, lettuce, tomato in a pita bread. Not the prettiest (or cheapest) pita I've ever had, but a very satisfying lunch for $9. I'll be back to try the falafel, too -- though next time I'll probably eat there or at the park close by, because the sandwich doesn't travel well ... the hummus/tahini is more runny than what you find elsewhere, and the bottom fell out of the pita when I sat down to eat it about 10 minutes after I bought it. The platters look like a good choice, too, but at $15-$20 its a bit high on the lunch side.

          Unlike the OP I really like Oasis (and Baladie, too), but Sabra is definitely going to be added to my lunchtime rotation. Glad I stopped in on a whim to check it out.

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            OliverB RE: fine wino Apr 18, 2014 12:30 PM

            Can anyone tell me if this place is still good for falafel pitas?

            I usually don't give a toss about Yelp reviews but it's rated pretty harshly. I was planning on walking over for a falafel pita and hummus in an hour... any updates in the past 5 years??

            4 Replies
            1. re: OliverB
              Robert Lauriston RE: OliverB Apr 18, 2014 01:02 PM

              Sabra Grill probably gets cut some slack since it's the only kosher restaurant in SF except for a vegan Chinese place in the Richmond.

              1. re: OliverB
                Robert Lauriston RE: OliverB Apr 18, 2014 01:07 PM

                If I were going there I'd tell them it was my first visit and ask for the combination plate.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
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                  OliverB RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 18, 2014 01:15 PM

                  Thanks; I gave up on Greek in the city (not hauling out to the East Bay this aft) and you kind of sold me on Middle Eastern in the other thread, so I'm compensating for the lack of proper souvlaki with a falafel lunch today!

                  I'll go anywhere in Pac Heights (Upper/Lower), Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Tenderloin, Financial District, Union Sq. and even Cow Hollow or Fillmore area. Closer or on a direct and convenient route to Van Ness and California would be a plus. It seems like the two popular choices are Oasis Grill and Saba and the latter seems more "authentic", though I get the impression that their other food is not quite as popular and it's not really a place to explore menu offerings.

                  1. re: OliverB
                    Robert Lauriston RE: OliverB Apr 18, 2014 01:59 PM

                    General discussion of where to find the best falafel:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/29912

                    Only one mention of Sabra, lots of Oasis Grill.

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