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Discover Turkish Rice bowls at newly opened Purple onion 

click to enlarge MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper

1840 N. Academy Blvd.,719-434-7418, see Facebook page

Purple Onion opened in the former Rocks Sports Bar & Grill just as the pandemic was getting underway. Despite the awkward timing, they already appear to have found their footing.

The cavernously open spot with stamped concrete floors still looks like the shell of a bar, and purple paint doesn’t do much to brighten what’s now a dining room of distanced high-top tables. But more than a dozen mosaic pendant and sconce lights add some dim lighting and beautiful color overhead.

For $9.95 each, we nab a lamb/beef shawarma gyro (which includes crisp, skinny, pretty ideal fries) and falafel rice bowl with tzatziki. While the shawarma’s familiar, just fine and uneventful on warm pita with a little bitter tahini flavor and no signature of the advertised sesame oil, the rice bowl’s excellent.

Firstly, it’s nice to see the option in a Mediterranean spot, with choice of protein and sauce to customize as you please. But mostly, the Turkish rice (with orzo) makes an awesome canvas for well-spiced falafel discs sliced into bowl-friendly bits, mixed with lettuce, tomato and sharp red onion pieces. 

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