They’ve popped up suddenly. Everywhere I go these days, there they are. Crispy chickpeas, a surprise ingredient that enhances dishes with a nutty, salty, crunchiness.

Over at Warehouse, the talented Eva Keilty sprinkles them on top of her farmers plate ($10). A fresh roti is piled high with seasonal veggies, crispy kale chips, and fried garbanzos for a fresh take on salad. Pair it with Pink Plush cocktail (appleton Jamaican white rum, pink grapefruit, St. Germain, soda, and lime) for a light beginning to the weekend.

At the Grocery, Kevin Johnson’s wood-roasted squid ($12) comes nestled in a pool of toothsome chickpeas fragrant with a curry of Moroccan flavors and a wisp of smoke. The kicker to this dish is the contrast between the chewy squid, the crunchy salad of pickled veggies, and the creamy chickpeas. Sit at the bar, have Hallie mix you up a Dirty Green Tomato martini, and dig in. 

Indaco Chef Robert Berry has an unadulterated version of fried chick peas. Served like popcorn, the fried peas come to the table hot and seasoned with aleppo, fennel, and other spices ($3). You can’t eat just one. I know, I tried. 

A related treat that Basico serves up to every table is the humble corn nut. Forget about those gross ones from the potato chip aisle at the grocery store. A real corn nut is like popcorn on steroids with an intense corn flavor and a hearty crunch. Addictive.   

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