Garbanzo's (quick-serve) Mediterranean Grill, Florham Park
Somewhere in my odd mix of food-related reading, I read about the Denver-based Garbanzo's chain a couple of months ago and thought, "That sounds like my kind of stuff! I wonder if they have any on the east coast..." A quick Google and I had a link to franchise info and a posting on Craigslist that they were hiring for their new location in Florham Park. A week later, a friend told me they were hosting a pre-opening event to benefit the American Cancer Society and I asked if I'd like to go. Um, YES, PLEASE!
So with the caveat that the place was packed to the gills and it was a final training run for their brand new staff, I do believe I've stumbled upon a very good thing--healthy, fresh food that doesn't break the bank. Now if they'd just open one closer to where I live...!
You have options of getting your food in a pita, on a plate, or in a wrap called a laffa. I had a plate--with their vegetable salad, hummus, babaganous, tabbouleh, yellow rice, falafel, and steak. My friend had most of the same items, but with chicken. They also do some other salads (Greek is the targeted theme in some areas, but overall it's all marketed as Mediterranean). I didn't try the chips (which seemed very non-Mediterranean to me, but looked yummy), and I'm kicking myself for not trying on of the soups (roasted eggplant was one of them), but wow--I'd love to have one of these near me! Everything was fresh and tasty, and although *my* palate might prefer even more spices overall, for what this is and the way they're doing, I'll be back there too often when I'm in the area. Even (some of) the drinks were a pleasant surprise--as in, 3 kinds of iced tea--I chose the green tea w/lemongrass and ginger, but there was also pomegranate/cranberry and black tea. As I said, my kind of place.
They're officially opening tomorrow (Sun)...they're in the same shopping center where Trader Joe's is.