From what I hear, no one really knows where the line is between eccentric and mental stability, but as far as his meals go – genius! Gus is adamant about this being American food, not Greek food, not Mediterranean. He must have told me this at least 6 times. Whatever – Gus at Christos Falafal is freaking awesome. He’s actually from Astoria and for 25 years he’s been at Philly’s northeast corner of Market and 20th St.
There’s not many options, just grilled chicken or falafel, in a platter or on a gyro – that’s it. He asked me what I wanted; I told him to surprise me, he loved that.
I loved the falafel. It had this sorta grainy texture with chunks of nearly raw garlic giving it a staggered heat. Mixed in on the plate was smokey grilled chicken and marinated grapes over a bed of watercress and sweet avocado salad. Fantastic! I’m telling you: this is transcendent chow. I’m told these accompanying salads are always changing based on his mood, but that’s fine; I would trust anything from the man’s brain.
It’s an experience. Gus, or Christo, is famous, so the wait will be at least a half an hour long. And he’s known as cantankerous too, so the line is always on edge. I got to talking with the lone operator after I received my food… we talked for literally 3 minutes. 3 minutes with a line of about 10 people behind me. Didn’t these people have jobs to get to?? With a thievish grin I looked back at the line, anticipating menacing stares, but no, nothing. Everyone was docile like a dolphin. They were just hanging out in line, kicking dirt. It was so strange. His “Falafel Nazi” reputation had them trained.
The cart was ornate with fruits, garlic, and knickknacks. And from the picture history, you can see it’s frequently changing. I wonder if the decorations change for holiday. It must be a process to move this thing.
Hey, whatever it takes – the guy is legend.