Phenomenal Falafel gets taste of downtown Steamboat
Steamboat Springs — Downtown Steamboat Springs has a new option for quick, affordable food.
In a unique move, Sweet Peak Market and Restaurant, at 729 Yampa St., temporarily shut its doors for the winter after a busy summer. It is expectd to return, but in the interim, Phenomenal Falafel owner Bob Samardzic learned from a Craigslist listing that Sweet Peak was looking for someone to take over the space for the winter as a “pop-up restaurant.”
“We get to run out of here for a few months before we land a permanent location,” said Samardzic, who operates the business with his wife, Katie Stassen.
Samardzic and Stassen opened the first Phenomenal Falafel in 2013 on the west side of Steamboat in a stand that had been used previously by other small eateries.
The couple got some bad news when the fire department visited, saying they would have to undertake significant work to the building if they wanted to remain open.
They decided to look for other opportunities, and Samardzic partnered with a friend on a Phenomenal Falafel food truck in Denver.
Samardzic said they wanted to return to Steamboat and ditched the food truck concept, though he said he has been told the food truck is now operating at Copper Mountain with the same Phenomenal Falafel artwork.
The Phenomenal Falafel at Sweet Pea has daily specials and five falafels on the menu, including the Phuket, which is made with Thai slaw, peanut sauce, cucumber, fresh greens and chili.
“The Phuket was kind of the one that started it all,” Samardzic said. “I made it in my kitchen, and it just took off.”
Prices for the wraps, salads and plates range from $7.49 to $11.99. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and, sometimes, later.
“It’s been great,” Samardzic said. “All my old regulars are coming back and bringing their friends, and obviously, all the tourists are wandering in now.”
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Steamboat Springs Transit is currently in the process of securing seasonal housing for its winter employees, and transit staff members are also looking to build long-term housing on land the city owns.