FOOD_CHEAP_Piperi-4_cMelissaOstrow

Anyone who has experienced the falafel-toppings orgy found in any Maoz falafel joint will feel at home at the universe's very first Piperi Mediterranean Grill, the brainchild of two quickie-lunch vets, namely the former exec chef and CFO of Au Bon Pain. White-bean tabouleh, olives, tomato relish, tahini, it's all there. Toppings aside, it's also a primo people-watching spot, right on the corner of Beacon and Tremont streets — which means lots of bright-eyed Freedom Trail tourists, whose glee at our city's cool oldness will temporarily lift your midweek lunchtime sadness.

In the center ring of this lunchtime circus is Piperi's trademarked Gozi bread, a house-baked spin on gözleme, a hand-rolled Turkish pastry. (Yes, you can trademark bread! That's a thing!) Intrigued, I went for a Gozi falafel sandwich ($6.50), stuffing it with Moroccan-spiced shredded carrots, red-cabbage slaw, and yogurt-cucumber sauce.

The Gozi turned out to be something akin to a tortilla or a thick crepe, but with more satisfying gumminess and give. It didn't split under the heft of runny yogurt sauce, and pretty soon I was eating it from all angles (since this sandwich was for all intents and purposes a burrito, right down to the uneven distribution of toppings per bite) without any spillage issues. Not only that, but the Gozi clung to the perfectly crumbly and moist falafel in a way a dry pita pocket could only dream of. Sorry, pita.

The menu also offers chicken ($7), steak ($8), and veggie ($7.50) variations on the sandwich, plus salad and traditional mezze-plate options for those forgoing the Gozi. But the best deal I spotted was a bag of Gozi chips ($1) to snack on at your desk afterwards. They're crispy but lighter than your average pita chips (again, so sorry, pita), which means you won't have to hold the chip in your mouth like a deranged squirrel while it gets soggy in a panicked attempt to avoid that earth-shattering moment when your crunchy lunch becomes your whole office's business.

In sum, Gozi 1, pita 0. God speed with your world domination, Piperi.

>> CLANDRY@PHX.COM

EAT UP:: One Beacon Street, Boston :: Mon–Fri, 11 am to 6 pm; Sat, 11 am to 3 pm :: 617.277.7471 or piperi.com 

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  Topics: On The Cheap , On the cheap, Falafel, food features
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