Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 13: The ultimate penultimate lunch at L As du Fallafel

I thought it would be difficult to maintain my diet of not eating meat here in Paris.
When I was about to leave, I told myself not to be stubborn and just give in -- maybe succumb to a good andouillette sausage or a hearty beef bourguignon or a plate of charcuterie.
But surprisingly, I wasn't tempted that much.

I was probably saving myself for a meatless reward -- on our penultimate day in Paris, we finally found our way back to the Marais, to Rue des Rossiers and to that sandwich shop recommended by all the guidebooks, the food writers, the food bloggers...

Here I am in front of L As Du Fallafel (or if you want to call it "Ace of Fallafel"
you'd be right on the money).
It's bitingly cold and we walked all the way from the Bastille Metro, to the Place de Vosges
and by memory and feel, found this famous sandwich shop that was closed the
last Christmas that we were here.
Thankfully, it's open and even if it's just past 12 noon, we're ecstatic that
there is still no line outside.
We get a ticket from the guy in front but this is just a formality as we are led in immediately.

The small tables for two are branded with the colorful logo. I know just what this much awaited experience needs and that's a glass of Kronenbourg beer!

I order a fallafel sandwich, the one that started this all and made them famous.
The sandwich of crunchy yet soft chickpea burgers (about 5 or 6 generous balls) comes slathered with yummy, creamy hummus, lots of slightly tart julienned red cabbage leaves, cucumbers and roasted eggplants.
It's a vegetarian's dream!
You're given a paper plate, a napkin and a plastic fork -- so I alternate between
eating the contents with my fork, to keep them from dripping over and
taking very large, unladylike bites.
Somehow I still manage to get bits of fallafel and hummus on my chin, my cheek and at one point, on the tip of my nose.
It's the best, the largest and definitely the messiest fallafel sandwich I have ever had!

The restaurant really started out as just a take out stand. Today, it has grown into the back room and they've also rented the next door space -- yet you can hardly find a table during crowded mealtimes.

As we leave, the line is over 20 people long. Even if service is brisk and the
sandwiches come as fast as you can order them, and diners eat and leave
(this is not a place to dawdle), the waiting in line can still take up to 30 or 40 minutes.
I'm really glad that I didn't have to line up to eat -- although this is one sandwich I wouldn't mind queuing for!

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