October 17, 2008

Paris, L'As du Falafel

Traveling Europe on a budget is all about knowing to eat in the right places. Paris is known for its tourist traps restaurants (think Rue de la Huchette with its greasy Greek taverns) and overpriced menus. Now some people decide that McDonald’s is the alternative. But have you really traveled all the way to Paris to eat a quarter-pounder with cheese (which by the way is called Royal burger with cheese!)?? 

The golden rule is to avoid any place mentioned in any Paris travel guide. With one exception! L’As du Falafel. World-renowned, and apparently patronized by Lenny Kravitz, this is a place where you get your money’s worth. Rue des Rosiers is in the Marais and is known to be the Jewish district of Paris. There are several other falafel restaurants in the street, but l’As du Falafel indisputably has the longest line of people waiting for a taste of Middle East. 

The few hesitating tourists were quickly convinced by what seems to be the greatest salesman in town, instantly talking them into lining up for what he promised to be the best falafel in town. I felt a little sorry for the establishment across the narrow alley, their salesman enviously staring at the long queue. 

I have never tried falafel before, but I was eager to find out why D was raving about it so enthusiastically. Falafel is basically a fried ball made out of mashed chickpeas. It’s fried hummus. It’s served in pita bread stuffed with crispy cabbage, eggplants, creamy hummus, tahini and harissa sauce. The challenge lies in eating this vegetarian delight. There’s barely space to sit inside and the Rue des Rosiers doesn’t have any benches. 

So what do you do? You tilt your head to the side and take a gargantuan bite into the falafel, hoping that its filling won’t spill out and land on your shirt. Be sure to ask for plenty of napkins as you will definitely need them. We were lucky enough that someone left a utility cart outside his front door a few steps away from l’As du Falafel and we comfortably settle on it, enjoying our lunch. Verdict? 5€ for a decent, vegetarian (healthy?) and truly satisfying lunch, what more can you ask for?

L’As du Falafel
34, Rue des Rosiers
Tel : +33 1 4887 6360
Metro : St.-Paul


V.I.Pierce said...

This place is the best reason to visit Paris. I've flown there JUST to grab lunch before...
You will never eat something more satisfying in all your life...

And how are there no comments on this blog until now? This is bloody brilliant!

Cosmopolicious said...

Hi V.I.,

Thanks so much for your comment! The falafel was truly delicious. And we didn't mind falling in line for it!

As for the lack of comments?! Haha. This is a tiny tiny blog I write when I feel like it. Don't think many people come over to read my stuff. Hehe.



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