Uptown news

Dallas’ falafel influx continues with Uptown’s Mediterranean newcomer

Dallas’ falafel influx continues with Uptown’s Mediterranean newcomer

Roti Modern Mediterranean
Look for new Roti Modern Mediterranean in Uptown Dallas in spring 2017. Photo courtesy of Roti

There's yet more falafel in the works for Dallas with the arrival of a new Mediterranean-themed fast-casual concept coming to Uptown. Called Roti Modern Mediterranean, it will open in the new McKinney & Olive high-rise building; a spokesperson says the target opening date is spring 2017.

This Roti is not to be confused with the Dallas-based Indian chain Roti Grill. Instead, it's a chain founded in Chicago in 2007, with branches in New York, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Its menu features bowls, wraps, rice plates, and salads. You start with a base, to which you add meat, sides, toppings, and sauces.

Meats include fajita-like strips of chicken or steak, chicken or salmon kabobs, or falafel. Sides and toppings include rice, hummus, tomato-cucumber salad, couscous, quinoa-cauliflower tabbouleh, cabbage slaw, and feta cheese. Sauces such as tahini, yogurt, and vinaigrette are house-made. You can also order a starter such as falafel or hummus with pita bread.

It's a little like a Mediterranean version of Chipotle, with a fast-casual service model that will make it a good lunch option for tenants in the building as well as workers nearby.

The chain recently underwent a makeover. It started out with an emphasis on rotisserie. But that model was overhauled in 2015, to distinguish it from falafel shops and kebab houses, and to cater to a generation of younger consumers seeking inexpensive food made from whole grains, vegetables, and meats raised without antibiotics or hormones.

After a harrowing local shortage of falafel, Dallas has seen a falafel influx, with the arrival of newcomers such as the Austin-based Verts Mediterranean Grill chain, which has three branches in the Dallas area; New York's Halal Guys; and the falafel kings themselves, Amsterdam Falafelshop, which has one branch in Deep Ellum.