L’As du Fallafel: Falafel in Paris? Oui, Oui!

// Visited: 1.3.10 //

On the same day that I tasted the best caramels in the world, I also encountered the best falafel that’s ever crossed my lips.

So, when I was doing research on cheap, must-eat foods in Paris, “falafel” was a word that came up over and over again.  Specifically, Paris’ Marais neighborhood has two famous falafel shops – one is called L’As du Fallafel (by far the more famous shop), and the other is the curiously-named “mi-va-mi” (much less famous).

I laughed when I arrived at L’As du Fallafel because mi-va-mi was right across the street, and clearly trying to poach L’As du Fallafel’s long line of customers.

 

L'As du Fallafel versus mi-va-mi. Falafel showdown!

 

Upon arriving at the front of the L’As du Fallafel line, I noted two curious design elements:
(1) The playing cards prominently painted on the windows of the shop (aha!  That’s why they named it “The Ace of Falafel”).

(2) The huge buckets of shredded vegetables and fried/stewed eggplant placed right inside the window.  Intriguing…what could fried eggplant have to do with falafel?  I would learn soon enough.

Upon placing my order,  the counter-guy threw my falafel together in a matter of seconds, tossing crunchy and moist fried chickpea balls, fresh shredded veggies, and buttery-soft eggplant chunks together in the chewy pita.

 

Ordering at the counter at L'As du Fallafel

 

If you order at the window, like I did, you’ll have to eat it on the street, probably leaning against a neighboring store and hoping shopkeepers don’t come out to yell at you.  You could also try eating while strolling and window-shopping, but that required a bit more finesse than I possessed.

Eating-while-stopped also allowed me to savor each bite of the pita – the warm chewiness of the bread, far superior in flavor and texture to the flabby, anemic pitas I encounter in most restaurants in the States.  The crunchy heartiness of the spiced chickpea balls.   The cool crispness of the cabbage, paired with the caramelized unctuousness of the eggplant chunks.  Amazing.  Easily one of my top 5 meals in Paris.

 

Falafel from L'as du Fallafel

 

L’As du Fallafel
34 rue des Rosiers
75004 Paris
phone: 01 48 87 63 60

 

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