Bell’s Greek Pizza has been an East Lansing mainstay for what feels like forever. From getting Wednesday night $1 slices with my dad to devouring Saturday night $1 slices with my teenage friends — and to taking a little 1 a.m. disco nap in the now-closed M.A.C. Avenue store on the night of my 21st birthday — Bell’s has seen me at my worst and truly deserves me at my best. That’s why when I’m on my lunch break from being a responsible adult, I’m now proud to patronize this wonderful establishment in broad daylight.
My latest kick? As my salad-bag era comes to its natural and foretold demise, I find myself carrying out build-my-own falafel salads, featuring a small Greek salad and an order of freshly fried, perfectly textured falafel.
First off, this is a steal for a lunch meal, coming in at just over $10 if you get the smaller portion of falafel or just under $15 if you get the full order. The Greek salad is simple, but it’s always fresh, crisp and stuffed to the brim. The tiny container literally overflows with lettuce, feta cheese, finely sliced red onion, green pepper, tomato and unpitted Kalamata olives. These ingredients start to really feel themselves once they’re mixed with the Greek dressing, which is heavily herbed and packs a zing.
I know people can be picky about their falafel, but I believe Bell’s makes some of the best. They’re fried to a very light brown and break apart perfectly in your hand or underneath the side of your fork. There’s barely a spot of oil, and the outside doesn’t become thickened or shell-like. The taste is nutty and earthy, and the texture is a delight — soft in the middle but not wet, fitting perfectly with the salad. The tahini the falafel comes with is mild, not overly lemony or garlicky, and it doesn’t attempt to compete with the headliner. I like to go back and forth, eating some falafel bites with my hands and dipping them into the sauce before switching to taking bites of falafel with the salad.
At the start of the new year, it’s nice to consider your options and get to manifesting your best life. So, given the choice between salad and deep-fried peas, I obviously choose both. My New Year’s wish? Many more prosperous years for Bell’s Greek Pizza.
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