Monday, June 24, 2024

A falafel wrap at Wrapro in Neighborhood 9. (Photo: Wrapro via Facebook)

If you want a lunch that’s relatively healthy and light, fast and easy to eat (no fork or plate, and low mess), to me that’s a falafel wrap with hummus and a lot of veggies, pickles and banana peppers. Not all falafels are the same; when they’re dried out or over-seasoned, it can really detract from the experience. My local go-to is Wrapro on Massachusetts Avenue between Harvard and Porter squares. It bills its chickpea fritter wraps at just over 300 calories; for such a satiating and flavorful nosh, and one that’s hassle free as you eat it in your (hopefully parked) car or walk down the street, it rivals Starbucks’ egg white, aged cheddar and turkey bacon sandwich, which clocks in at 230 calories. The Lebanese eatery also serves shawarma, kebabs and kofta that can come as wraps, plates and combos, as well as baklava and coconut macaroons. Daily specials take classics and gives them a new spin.

Wrapro Falafel & Grille (1670 Massachusetts Ave., Neighborhood 9)

A falafel wrap at Pita in Inman Square. (Photo: Gouri A. via Yelp)

Down in Inman Square, the group behind Moona, whose culinary virtues we’ve extolled, runs Pita, a Middle Eastern fast-casual experience on Springfield Street a scant few hundred yards from its upscale sibling and its braised octopus, mini lamb burgers and chicken tagine. The great thing about Pita (which has a sister location in the South End) is that it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Come in for shakshuka or an egg wrap on your way to work; get a wrap for later. You can get almost anything in a wrap: grape leaves, shawarma (lamb, beef and chicken), kofta and of course falafel. The one I rather like, and it’s a meal-and-a-half in portion, is “shawafel” wrap of chicken shawarma and falafel with hummus and a choice of add-ons. Pita’s also happy to color outside the lines with variations on a grape leaf wrap and shawarma poutine. Quebec meets the Middle East! 

Pita (12 Springfield St., Inman Square)

Cambridge writer Tom Meek’s reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in WBUR’s The ARTery, The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, The Charleston City Paper and SLAB literary journal. Tom is also a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike everywhere.