Let the Falafel Speak for Itself: Falafel Republic in Ashland
It’s no secret that food in Ashland is expensive. It can be tricky to eat out for people on a tight budget. That being said, there is also an abundance of fantastic food in the Rogue Valley. This issue can oftentimes put southern Oregon food lovers in a difficult position: sacrifice flavor for economy? Or just splurge all the time? That’s where restaurants like Falafel Republic come in.
Founded by local restaurant-worker-turned-restauranteur Sam Jackson in January 2018, Falafel Republic aims to bring low- and high-brow food culture together.
When asked what his mission statement would be for the restaurant, Jackson said: “I wanted to do something a little more health-conscious. I have to feed a family and it can often be difficult for me to find healthy food within my budget without having to prepare it at home.”
Falafel Republic sports a simple, well curated menu with just enough options for exploration, but not too many that it comes off as daunting. They offer pitas, salads, and bowls comprising of your choice of protein: falafel, Za’atar grilled eggplant, Moroccan-spiced chicken, or the Greek classic beef and lamb shawarma.
Something immediately apparent about Falafel Republic is their attention to details such as cleanliness and branding. Many local restaurants seem to follow the “proof is in the pudding” approach when decorating their restaurants, so it’s really refreshing to see a locally-owned restaurant have such a clearly defined visual aesthetic. It is also remarkably clean, especially when you consider how few employees they currently have (when I visited, there was only one worker behind the counter making all the food, and taking all the orders, and the place was spotless).
When asked about this attention to detail, Jackson stated: “Branding is something serious, there’s a reason big companies do things the way they do them and you can’t ignore that. I believe that the way you keep your kitchen and restaurant is reflected in your food.”
Something many locals also love about the restaurant is its family vibe. When I visited, I was greeted by one of Jackson’s daughters. She told me about a cotton-candy machine she had been saving up for and recently purchased, as well as bringing me a small bowl of her homemade cotton candy as a dessert once I had finished my meal.
When asked about his future plans for the restaurant, Jackson mentioned he had just bought a new chicken rotisserie that can fit 32 birds on it at once. He intends to take his mission of bringing cheap, fast, and healthy meals to the people of Ashland even further this spring by beginning to do to-go orders with the rotisserie.
11:30 am – 7:30 pm, 7 days a week
1465 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland