Falafel’s Rising Star Chickpeadx Opens Inside the Zipper

A promising Mid-East cart embarks on a new future inside the Zipper, a micro-business incubator on NE Sandy.

By Karen Brooks July 1, 2015

Falafel at Chickpeadx

Image: Karen Brooks

Falafel lovers, mark Tuesday, July 7 on your oil-stained calendars. That’s when Chickpeadx will grow from an unknown cart selling one amazing chickpea sandwich in the middle of nowhere, to a small—but bonafide—brick-and-mortar at 2707 NE Sandy Blvd.

The space—all 500 square feet and six stools of it—is the second to open at the Zipper, a kind of new-school mall for micro-businesses and the sequel to designer-architect Kevin Cavenaugh’s The Ocean on NE 24th and Glisan. Each business will have both a street entrance and a door that opens to a shared courtyard with plentiful communal seating. 

Seven Virtues coffee shop is already up and running. Other coming attractions at the Zip: Finger Bang, a punk-rock nail salon, and Paydirt, a bar that promises “whiskey piled to the heavens, Fernet flowing from a tap, champagne from a phone booth, and all sorts of other surprises.”

A peek at Chickpeadx’s new menu shows Israeli-born Yair Maidan stretching his love of herbs, spices and complexity; his excellent falafel made Portland Monthly’s list of top 25 sandwiches in 2014. At the Zipper, he’ll offer it four ways: in pita, with pickled carrot ribbons and fried eggplant; as a salad, dressed with basil-mint tahini; as a bowl over brown rice; or simply as a side dish, all with a flavor shot of zhug (garlic, cilantro, toasted spices), tahini, or amba, a mango pickle condiment.

Bonus options extend to a farm-centric fattoush (a Levantine salad made with toasted pita), spicy fried cauliflower, and three dips: fresh-ground hummus, labneh (yogurt cheese), and carrot-cumin.

Drinks will be available from Paydirt when it opens, but Maiden hopes to score his own beer and wine license. If Chickpeadx makes nothing more than a destination-worthy falafel, it’ll be a huge success. 

The Zipper (2707 NE Sandy Blvd)
Tues-Sun: 11 am - 9 pm 

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