There was this Kentucky Fried Chicken about two blocks away, and as will happen, it went out of business. The place sat vacant for a year or so and then started being renovated, turning into something called the Tabooli Mediterranean Restaurant. We had imagined it to be some new chain place, trying to do for hummus and, er, tabouli, what Chipotle does for burritos. After thinking of it for weeks as ``maybe we should try it someday'' we actually thought to try it, and the results were pretty good.
The guy working the counter did ask if we understood the restaurant's workings, which we did not. Normally a restaurant that needs you to understand their scheme is a warning sign that they're making regular food only complicated, although in this case it isn't really that complicated: they want you to pick a base --- beef, chicken, vegetables, and so on --- and toppings, and pick whether you want it in a bowl or as a wrap. It's more Subway-like than it is complicated. It's pretty good food, pretty filling for the value and the meals come with an actual proper dessert, which is something fast food normally can't really make work.
The surprising thing to us is that this isn't a chain, although the place certainly looks like it's pre-designed to be. They've got some nice, slick-looking logos plastered over everything (even over their soda cups; Jersey Giant, which has been around for decades, still gives out bare white styrofoam cups); the dining area is clean and well-furnished if a little sparse (and has a carpeted floor, which seems like a bold thing to do if you're serving food where kids can get at it); and they've got billboards all around the city area. If we'd known it was a local start-up we'd probably have tried it out sooner.
Trivia: The United States's first federal Disaster Relief Act followed the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811. Source: The Culture of Calamity: Disaster and the Making of Modern America, Kevin Rozario.
Currently Reading: Squaring The Circle: The War Between Hobbes and Wallis, Douglas M Jesseph. You know, they could really get savage in that era when they were insulting one another in scholarly terms.