Even as a man behind the scenes of many of Portland’s best restaurants (Paley’s Place, Clyde Common, Beaker and Flask, Imperial)—Yair Maidan had to think outside of the metal box for his first solo venture, a falafel cart called ChickPeaDX.
Instead of a soft opening at the cart, Maidan organized pop-up events with Portland Penny Diner and Boke Bowl in which Maidan and his small staff took over the closed restaurants to serve the cart’s falafel for the first time.
Now, after two test runs, the Northwest influenced falafel cart will park it in the lot of the Homebrew Exchange at 6550 Interstate Avenue. ChickPeaDX will serve falafel available three ways: in a pita (white or wheat), on a bed of greens or in a Bahn Mi roll. All falafel is served with house-made tahini, a zesty tomato and cucumber salad, carrot ribbons, shaved cabbage and fired eggplant.
Maidan’s cart hopes to shine a spotlight on chickpeas, as an “under recognized regional product,” and while the Middle Eastern fritters certainly take center stage, there’s a rising star (think, Elizabeth Olsen): the remarkable “Amba” sauce made from spicy pickled mango. Anyone else smell a bottling contract with New Seasons in the air?