Falafel Latkes at The Royale

Aug 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Centuries of international conflict can't be resolved over Sunday brunch. Or can they?

Falafel Latkes: world peace on a plate. - Robin Wheeler
Robin Wheeler
Falafel Latkes: world peace on a plate.

The Royale (3132 South Kingshighway Boulevard, Tower Grove; 314-772-3600) just might have found the key to ages of warring, thanks to a simple yet brilliant brunch idea that combines the staples of two of modern culture's oldest traditions: herbed chickpea falafel interspersed with shredded potato, served with both dill tahini and chunky applesauce.

The spices are more understated than in traditional falafel, which would overpower the potato. Starchiness gives it a more filling, comforting feel instead of a spicy kick. It's a delicate balance, but it works. It also makes for a more interesting texture than falafel, the potato shreds providing a bit of toothiness.

Thickness is a compromise, thicker than a crispy latke, thinner than a hearty falafel. The outside maintains the crispiness without forgoing the crumbly falafel interior.

The tahini sauce is spiked with just enough dill and garlic to give some complexity to an inherently mild, nutty sauce. The applesauce is just that - applesauce. Nothing fancy, just the good, old-fashioned original that accents the potato flavor just as the tahini brings out the falafel characteristics.

It's a lot of complexity to devour at Sunday brunch, but it's mild and comforting while being a bit surprising in its compatibility.

Maybe there's hope for humanity yet.