Friday, 21 December 2012

l'as du fallafel, paris

l'as du fallafel
mark bittman on l'as du fallafel in the new york times "although you may find it done better in the southern or eastern mediterranean (i haven't yet), this is the falafel destination in paris, indeed in europe."

in paris’ fourth arrondissement on rue des rosiers in the heart of the jewish quarter is l’as du fallafel. l’as du fallfel has somewhat of a cult following with falafel aficionados that not only span the globe but also include celebrities and politicians alike. i will tell you more about the pita-wich in a moment but not before an important note – firstly, l’as du fallafel is not for the queue averse especially on a sunny sunday when the queue extended well down rue des rosiers with a minimum waiting time of forty-five minutes. secondly, it is not the place to bring a hungry spouse especially one whose hunger makes him stroppy. fortunately there are plenty of bakeries in the neighbourhood and so i got o a little something to line his tummy during the wait. 

assembling the pita-wish
l’as du fallafel pita-wich reminds me of american sandwiches that are often stuffed to the point that they bulge and look dangerously close to bursting. luckily the pita has a sturdy constitution allowing it to be the perfect fortress for its plentiful contents. there is shredded cabbage some of which is lightly pickled, crisp edged falafel the size of ping pong balls and half moons of silky aubergine. the tahini and harissa add a sharp nuttiness and heat. although there is seating inside the restaurant most everyone eats the pita-wiches standing in the street. 

o was most content after eating it and asked me what makes this falafel so special. personally, i love falafel and i have often found it difficult to find really good falafel. my last memories of excellent falafel go back to family run middle eastern restaurant in tempe, arizona and from my first trip to dubai in the late 90s. beirut express in london has ones with a crisp dark exterior. at l’as the falafel are fluffy and light on the inside and they really are delicious! but that of course does not explain what makes them so famous. i guess the bottom line is that one has to trust the likes of mark bittman , david dadoun and brett anderson. saveur’s sandwich issue which featured 90 handheld meals from around the globe included l’as du fallafel on its list.

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