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L'as du Felafel


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L'AS DU FELAFEL | LE MARAIS

Published by Oat Sitalasai — 4 years ago

I must admit that as I'm moving into my second month here in Paris, the best part about this city is that there's always something new to discover. For this edition, I would like to take you to a place that was introduced by a friend of mine, in Le Marais. We will be eating (yes another food post) something that I've never had before. That's right, what have I not had before, I seem to everything and anything in front of me. Let's find out!

If you're traveling by the metro, you will need to get out at Saint Paul on line 1 yellow. From here, it's the very first street you see opposite the exit by the carousel. Cross this street (Rue de Rivoli) and you will into Rue Malher. Now that you're here, let me steer this post off track and talk about an interesting spot before our main event. Although I cannot speak from my own experience, I have been informed by a friend who has tried out pancakes at Breakfast in America. Just like the Strasbourg Saint Denis burger joint of Burgers and Fries, the people who came up with the name probably weren't very creative. But don't be so quick to judge this place, because I hear that the pancakes they serve are bomb. If you're not a big fan of pancakes, you'll be happy to hear that they offer American diner options such as but not limited to burgers (about ten different variations, seriously! ), eggscooked in various ways, french toasts (how ironic), chicken wings, nachos and chilli cheese fries. At this point, you might as well grab yourself a massive milkshake or they so claimed New York cheese cake!

Save your American food urge for another day because for the main character of this post is along the famous Rue de Rosiers. The beautiful translation of this street is harmoniously referred to Street of the Rosebushes. I must admit that food aside, this is a really great place to walk around in the afternoon. The streets are small and are aimed more for the pleasure of walking rather than traffic of cars and bikes racing through. There are shops on both sides and there's no other way to describe this place other than that it has got a simple yet sophisticated, modern yet traditional, European yet diverse elegance to everything.

You will easily feel that this is a Jewish area and you're correct! I was told that this street and area goes way back in history as a Jewish Quarter, which is excellent because this means that great food is in the middle of city! Words have it that the Jewish population have called this place home for centuries, which has today resulted in the rich history of food in this area. So, there are so many things to see, shop, eat and admire on this street alone. If you've followed my instruction from the metro station, along the first street pass Breakfast in America, you will need to take the first left turn. On this very street, just before reach all the restaurants and eateries, you will see shops on both sides. There are plenty of fashion-related shops around this area, but for those in Adidas Originals and Fred Perry, then you're at the right place.

Enough of all the delays, let's talk about THE place. There are plenty of places to eat around here, both dine in and take away, but I would like to share with you guys a place called L'as du Falafel. This place is more or less towards the middle of the street, will be on the same side of Fred Perry, which should be your right. Depending on what time you go there, you could either look for the address to find this place, or towards dinner time, you will easy see this place by its massive line out front. We got there around 7:15pm and there was a small line just starting to form. The staff members here are super efficient. As the line gets longer, there's always someone at the front walking along the line asking as to whether you would like to dine it or order a take away. If you choose to dine in like we did, the gentleman will talk through his mates via bluetooth and find a place for you inside. It's amazing how such a small place could get so busy, even to the point where the staffs are communicating via bluetooth communication! Great, so we led to the entrance door and were taken to our table.

As I said, the restaurant is not huge. If you're lucky you shouldn't be waiting too long for your table, but that depends I guess. So our table was quite small, but it was more than enough for what we were to have. If anything, I personally find that this made up for a great ambience. The table was wiped before our eyes so you could rest assured that it's clean. We were then handed the menu. The menu is worth a mention too, since one booklet at about six different languages. I understand where they're coming from, this Le Marais is one of the spots tourist would be walking about, so it would make sense to have a French, English, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese menu all in one booklet! I take that back, I'm not sure what exact languages are on there, but if you're able to read this post, you will be able to understand without a problem!

L'AS DU FELAFEL LE MARAIS

As the name suggests, the place is famous for its falafels. Believe it or not, this is something that I've never tried before. I was a regular customer of this kebab joint in Sydney, but never ordered their falafels. In fact, I could go as far as saying that I had no idea what a falafel was and the ingredients within. Again, the service was very efficient at this point and we got our orders away within three minutes. I went for the same thing as my friend, a simple falafel. The staff had asked if we wanted some french fries to share with that, and I replied 'why not' without a second of doubt. Oh by the way, the staff here also speak very good English, so you'll order and communicate just fine.

The french fries arrived to our table in no time. The table has two types of sauces on the table from the start, a red and a green one respectively. Both of them pack a strong punch of flavours and spices, with the green one. I have no idea of the exact ingredients of these two sauces, but both of them were quite spicy. The green one definitely had some peppers of green chilli, which made up for a very distinct taste. Apart from these two pretty much unlimited sauces on the table, the kind waiter also brought a bottle each of the tomato ketchup and mayo. I love ketchup and I love mayo so having both in front of me, in bottles, with some french fries, was like a dream come true.

L'AS DU FELAFEL LE MARAIS

And then the falafels arrived to our table, nicely wrapped in a sheet of paper like the burger I had last week. So now I know what a falafel is. For those that are on the same boat as me and have no idea what to expect, imagine this. The casing for all the deliciousness is similar to a Greek pita bread, toasted, nice and thick of course. You get what you order, which are a few mini-balls of falafel, which are like mashed up chick peas that are then deep-fried. For more vegetable, a good sandwich needs a dose of salad. You get sliced white and red cabbage here to add to the texture and of course, presentation colour! You also get shredded, grilled eggplants as well as a few other touches, then drizzled by white sauce. Considering that this whole thing is vegetarian and I love meat, this was a fantastic meal. For something so simple, it was really elegance and I really felt the authentic experience.

L'AS DU FELAFEL LE MARAIS

Don't expect for the falafel and the whole sandwich (please excuse me if this is not meant to be called one) to be hot. There are lot of ingredients in side and a generous amount of sauce, which made the sandwich wet. The heat doesn't keep too well in these I guess, but it was delicious with some french fries nonetheless. I guess I also expected for the sauce and juices to soak my hands, but it didn't so that was another good thing I got from this meal.

We didn't have dessert and actually I still don't know if they offer desserts here. But if you're curious to find out or are craving sweets, I would recommend continuing along Rue de Rosiers towards the end, because there, you will find a bakery on the left hand side. It was close by the time we had finished out meal so I had to settle for something else later.

All in all, I had a great introduction to this variation of falafel! I was told my by friend who is no stranger to this dish, that falafels are done differently depending on the destination you're in. Regardless, I now have the bragging rights of having had a falafel, at one of the most talked about spots in the French capital - yes, you won't believe how many posts and articles have been written online about L'as du Falafel.

At this point, you may be wondering how much I paid for the meal. I am hesitant to say that it was pricy, but it was. A falafel would cost you €8. 00, but that's perhaps the price if you choose to dine in the restaurant. The french fries were shared and we only had table water. The final bill? €21. 00 in total. At €10. 50 for a falafel and some fries, you could probably understand and agree that this meal was not cheap. At the end of the day, it is a sandwich with some fries, not to mention that it contains no meat. On the other side of the token, I do see the value for money to an extent. For having something close to what locals would have, it was definitely a great experience. So I guess for value, it's fair to say that I am on the fence for price and the taste that came from it.

One thing that I cannot play down is the service. Everyone from the start to finish. They were all welcoming and were super helpful. With the busy service period they had for dinner, one guy managed to have a short conversation with us, which was quite nice. It's very much a local spot in that you get that local, family-like atmosphere. No one is stressed around here and we were all there for the beauty of the culture and the cuisine - both the clients and staff members alike. While there are many competitions in the area that would offer more or the less the same menu, this place is worth a visit and its reputation should not disappoint. And just lastly before we move on to something else, they have other items on the menu as well! If you're into meat, they have all sorts of things, like the grilled sausages I saw on the next table, or huge plate of grilled meat.

L'AS DU FELAFEL LE MARAIS

Now that we got L'as du Falafel out of the way for our main meal (or snack), let's move onto the bakery I had mentioned for sweets. Korcarz is the name of this boulangerie/salon de thé/patisserie. I really don't know what to call it, but it's a combination of everything. They have freshly baked goodies and other delicious snacks. I personally like their display window from the outside which had all the delicious products. As I said, they were close by the time I was looking for dessert after my meal, so I left the shop with a small regret.

You may choose to walk around the area to digest your meal. There are plenty of things to see and nice streets to walk to. I would either recommend walking towards Hotel de Ville which would be on your right, or go backwards towards the left, heading for the direction of Bastille. I would personally choose Bastille just because there are more things to see and I like the monument. From here, you could even continue along Boulevard Beaumarchais in which will merge up with Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire. At this point, you will probably be keen on head home. For your convenience, this street has metro stations of line 8, and you can also get on at Republique, which is a major connecting hub.

And that brings everything together a good night of walking, eating and discovering in the Le Marais and Bastille area here in Paris. Just on last note to cover the overlying message of this post: since this is a Jewish area, this is one of the few parts of the city that is lively on Sundays! The Marais is well known for its Sunday dynamics, an element that is missing in other famous parts of the French capital. In saying this, Saturdays are much more calm here than elsewhere, which adds to a brilliant contrast here in Paris.

L'as du Felafel Le Marais 4eme - Ratings

Accessibility - 9/10

Price - 8. 5/10

Selection - 8/10

Staff Friendliness - 10/10

Cleanliness - 7. 5/10

Overall - 8/10

Petit-déjeuner Américain à Paris

Korcarz

If you like the content of this post, or just want to check out some pictures that I take on my adventure, feel free to like and/or follow me on instagram at oat93, cheers!

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