Parsley gave me a reason to love Mediterranean food

Beylul Kahsay, Staff Writer

A simple, modern Mediterranean restaurant caught my eye when a sudden urge for a quick bite to eat overcame me. I was so desperate for any sort of food in my system that I stepped into what I thought was just going to be another basic, austere place to grab a bite.

Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised to find out I not only am slightly in love with Mediterranean food, but also I am fully in love with Parsley.

Walking through the jaded and cracked sidewalks of downtown Grand Rapids to see a modern, inviting building with clean, brown bricks drew me in. Being a fan of simplistic appearances in a place with not so much to offer, I dragged my sister and friend to see what it was all about.

After we walked into the restaurant, we were promptly greeted by the cheesing young man behind the cash register. The eatery had a certain aroma to it that was undeniably calming and welcoming to be in. Seats were painted white with a simplistic brick wall and beautiful lighting. It felt like a five-star establishment, and I had come to that verdict without tasting a single bite of the food.

Being a voluntary vegan (when I feel like it) brings its challenges when trying out new restaurants. I usually don’t find anything that surpasses the lettuce and bread. But Parsley had just what I was searching for, and I didn’t even know it. I opted for the falafel pita wrap with toppings galore.

Everything was scarfed down, and I found myself wishing I had more time with my delicious falafel”

The falafels were brought out fresh and also fried in front of me upon ordering. There were a variety of colorful toppings which included baba ganoush, red cabbage, pickles, tabbouleh, and much more. Knowing that I’d need something to wash all the food down, I picked up a Simply Lemonade to sweeten things up a bit.

After our meals were prepared and ready for consumption, we perused the fairly extensive seating area. After much deliberation, we came to the conclusion that the perfect spot to dig into our food would be the seating area near the window so we could look out into the alluring downtown view.

Seated, I looked down at my food and saw what I knew was going to change my outlook on Mediterranean food. Awhile back, I had a bad experience with falafels involving too many lentils and not enough sauce, but I was prepared to give it another shot. I sunk my teeth into the bread, and I was welcomed into a burst of different flavors. I savored every bite and left nothing for the garbage. Everything was scarfed down, and I found myself wishing I had more time with my delicious falafel. But alas, everything good must come to an end.

For not knowing what I was walking into going through those double doors, I was pleased that I took a leap of faith and tried what had previously given me a bad taste in my mouth and now is a new favorite dish.

That neighborly cashier and tall, bricked building will unequivocally see me again in the near future.