Falafels On My Doorstep

by HEAB on May 5, 2010

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A funny story regarding falafels: I once went out to eat with a friend whose diet basically consisted of nothing but hot dogs and hamburgers. Somehow, I talked said friend into dining at a local Middle Eastern restaurant with me. I don’t recall what she ordered, but I do remember that she kept referring to my falafels as gourmet hushpuppies. So now, whenever I eat falafels, I think of her. :)

Anyway, last night’s yoga class was perfect. It was held in a renovated studio behind a historic home on one of my favorite streets in Nashville. There were only 4 of us, and we’ll meet every Tuesday night throughout the month of May. It was so so good to be back on my mat, and it also feels good to be a little sore today…it’s been so long!

After arriving home a little before 7, I was hungry, but not starving. However, I needed to decide on dinner and make it quick as LOST would be on soon. As I pulled up the driveway, I noticed a big box sitting at our front door. Hmm, what could that be?

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Barbara informed me that I must try Flamous Brands’ Falafel Chips, and when I checked out the company’s website, I was disappointed to find that although they sell their chips in several locations throughout Tennessee, none were located in Nashville. However, they were kind enough to offer to send me a box of samples. Thanks Falafel Chips people, and many thanks to Barbara for introducing them to me!

The company sent me an entire case of organic falafel chips including both their spicy and original flavors. All of their chips are gluten and dairy free.

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I immediately tore into both bags. I am not a spicy lovin girl by any means, but I actually preferred the spicy flavor. The original was good but a bit bland compared to the spicy. I paired a few of each alongside a goat cheese omelet.

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Not a very traditional dinner by any means, but it was just what I wanted in the moment. These chips are so good – thin, but hearty if that makes sense. They are crunchy and really do taste like a falafel in chip form. In other words, I now have a new obsession, and I cannot wait to try them dipped in some hummus!

The folks at Falafel Chips were so generous, and I’d love to share some of my bounty with you. For a chance to win a bag of falafel chips for yourself, please leave me a comment below describing your most memorable falafel experience. Mine was at a generic little restaurant in a strip mall. The sign outside simply read Gyro/Kebab, but my meal was far from simple! I’ll never forget those 2 delicious falafels resting on a big bed of tabouleh drizzled with tzatziki sauce. :)

{ 208 comments }

Beth May 5, 2010 at 7:24 am

I loooove falafel. My most memorable experience with it was getting it at a fair, The Big E, and it was so messy so I got it all over myself but loved it! :)

kalli@fitandfortysomething May 5, 2010 at 7:28 am

my sis just brought these over on saturday night for our dinner party! they are sooooooo good :) how funny!

Veggiesmack May 5, 2010 at 7:30 am

Yum! Inlove falafel so much. I’m in Chicago’s Greektown right now, and am really itching to try some of the falafel.

Teri May 5, 2010 at 7:34 am

I have actually never even tried falafel. I know, crazy right? I live in a VERY RURAL town in WY and there is absolutely NO ethnic cuisine. Unless you want Subway, Pizza Hut or Taco Time you’re pretty much screwed. haha

I must get around to finding a good falafel recipe and making my own I suppose! :)

carolineatsea May 5, 2010 at 7:34 am

When I was about 8 years old, I spent the summer in the Middle East with my family. It was an amazing experience, and even though it was almost 15 years ago, I remember it well. My favorite memory was sitting and watching this old man make falafels in a tiny like fast food style shop. Everything threre was fresh and homemade, the falafel were the kind that still have big chunks of chick peas in them. Anyway, this man had a system. One hand would scoop, the other hand would form the ball and into the fryer it went. I swear he did about 30 falafels a minute! He was so quick!! He even talked to us while he worked, to me, that was skill. He gave my sisters and I baskets of falafel straight out of the fryer, so hot, so yummy, we burnt our mouths eating them! Seriously, those were even better than my nana’s falafel! Just don’t tell her I said that.

amsterwill83 May 5, 2010 at 7:35 am

In college, I worked at a little joint called The Pita Pit. I had never heard of nor eaten falafels. After awhile, I got up the courage and had a big ole falafel pita and haven’t turned back since! Soooo good with crunchy veggies and lots of tzatziki!

Amanda @ WannaBe Chef

Kathleen May 5, 2010 at 7:43 am

I spent a month in Asia and when I arrived in Bangkok to my surprise it was filled with restaurants that served falafel!! I was in love and must have ordered it every day. When I moved to New York I was lucky enough to live just a few doors down from a great little hole in the wall called “Pita Hot”. Delicious falafel. My husband and I became friends with the owner!

Elizabeth May 5, 2010 at 7:53 am

I once made my own falafel but instead of pan frying it, I baked in my toaster oven because since I am in college, I don’t have a stove. The falafel ended up being a little dry, so i made a dressing of lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and s+p and poured some onto my falafel and they were PERFECT. my boyfriend thought it looked questionable and so he didn’t taste them, but he was missing out!
the next day, i crumbled the leftovers into a spinach salad and added more dressing. simple and delish.

Girl Hero Jenn May 5, 2010 at 8:04 am

Falafel as “gourmet hushpuppies”! That’s hilarious! I can totally see has she could say that. I love falafel…actually I love anything with a middle eastern flavor. I’ve never tried those chips. I would be in some serious danger is I had a case of those on my doorstep. :-)

Ana May 5, 2010 at 8:06 am

The best falafels I ever had was at a local Mediterranean place here where we live, it is called Alladin’s. I loooove chickpeas, it is by far my favorite “bean” of all, and when I go to a nice place that serves falafels I always have to try them, I really like the combo of chickpeas, parsley and spices in falafels.
Me and the husband wanted to go on a date but couldn’t find a baby sitter so we decided to go out for lunch while our son was at school. We found this place on a local list of favorites and decided to try it, it was a bit far from our home but we took a shot. And we were majorly glad we did! The first thing I ordered was a plate of falafels for our appetizers… omg, it was amazing!! The best, crispy on the outside and fluffy inside, perfectly spiced falafel e-v-e-r!!
We loved it, both of us could not stop talking about it throughout our meals. And we kept talking when we were having dinner that night. So much so that my son asked to try the falafels at the place. We have been back there just for the amazing falafels, best one ever for sure!
Ok, now I am craving some good falafels….! :-)
I bet those chickpea chips are really good, would love to try some! yumm!!
Ana

mama May 5, 2010 at 8:08 am

my 1 year old daughter trying falafel on the kitchen floor last year! her face was priceless!!

maren May 5, 2010 at 8:09 am

mine was probably at mamouns in nyc! really great falafel sandwiches and super cheap too!

Claire May 5, 2010 at 8:09 am

I went through a falafel phase.I used to go to a pita place downtown and indulge in their falafel pitas.Soooo goooood!!!I’m definitely due for another one:-) cc

Megan May 5, 2010 at 8:21 am

My most memorable falafel experience was just a few months ago. There is this Mediterranean restaurant where I live that serves the best falafel. I ordered the veggie platter the first time I went there and it was so good. It came with all these dips and of course falafel. They were absolutely delicious.

JJ May 5, 2010 at 8:25 am

believe it or not, i actually have SEVERAL favorite falafel moments:
the first being the first time i ever at falafel at and itty bitty little corner shop on a rainy day in downtown ann arbor, michigan with my best friend. the falafel there was in little patty shapes and all stuffed down inside pita wraps with delicious things like cucumbers and beets and a sauce that was equally delicious even though i have no idea what it was.

since that first falafel pita in michigan i’ve been trying to recreate it on my own. i’ve made falafel for a few of my boyfriends shortly after we start dating. [at least the adventurous eaters.] i never never use boxed falafel [though, one of those boyfriends swears by it for camping.] and all my falafel spices have moved across the country, their tiny baggies rolled up and rubber-banded together. i’d love to share the recipe with you if you’re interested.

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 5, 2010 at 10:29 am

JJ, Definitely interested in your recipe! :)

marshell y. Roper May 5, 2010 at 8:32 am

Falafel sounds like something good to try. Considering I am a chip person of any type. I have seen the falafel cake signs and often wondered what those cakes taste like and now you have me wondering what the chips are like also. I would love to try them, despite the fact that I do not have an experience to share. I live in Greenville, SC. So, maybe…Just maybe, I can locate some here. I will be on the look out for them in surrounding stores. Be Blessed!!

Heather May 5, 2010 at 8:34 am

oh man, if i had access to falafel chips i’d go straight fat kid on those bad boys! YUM!!!

so glad you had a good time at yoga :D

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 5, 2010 at 10:39 am

Heather, That basically describes what I did last night when I opened the box. ;)

RhodeyGirl May 5, 2010 at 8:38 am

I don’t need to enter, but I know my story would win if I did haha!

My most memorable falafel experience..

When I was about 16 and my brother and cousin were 20 we were all in Jordan for a trip. We went to this late night hot spot for a late dinner of falafel, hummus, fresh hot pita, arabic salad (cucumber, tomato, red onion), olives, and more. At the end of the amazing meal (everything was made fresh in house) my dad told my brother and cousin they had to pay the bill. Well, the bill came to something like 4,000 in the local currency and my bro and cousin were freaking out!!!!

Come to find out… the meal for 12 came to about $40!!

It was such an incredible night full of laughs and delicious REAL Middle Eastern food.

I can’t wait to go back to Jordan this summer, this time bringing along my husband and 12 other members of my new family. I can’t wait for everyone to meet my aunts and uncles and cousins that live there as well as see how beautiful my dad’s country is.

Thanks for letting me share that memory!

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 5, 2010 at 10:37 am

RhodeyGirl, I loved this story! Thanks for sharing. :)

Jaya May 5, 2010 at 8:39 am

These chips are amazing. Whenever they go on sale, we stockpile in a big way! I grew up in a city with a very vibrant Lebanese community, so I was never far from amazing falafel. My best experience though, comes from the weekly falafel dinners we would have at home. My Mom made the most delicious falafel and we used to it it in the gorgeous pita bread, with loads of fresh vegetables, pickled turnips, tahini (which I then loathed) and all kinds of other unconventional toppings.

Josie May 5, 2010 at 8:39 am

i’ve never tried falafel. i know, i know. would love to, though. :)

mkluesner May 5, 2010 at 8:41 am

I have never tried falafels… I guess I’ll have to though, since you say they’re so good! Would still love to try the falafel chips!

Erika May 5, 2010 at 8:46 am

My best falafel experience is…..never having tried them but then randomly making them at home one night. Home made tzatziki+falafel….in a pita. Awesome!

Jessica @ How Sweet May 5, 2010 at 8:47 am

I’ve never had falafel! So I must win the chips. :)

Vani May 5, 2010 at 8:50 am

oh wow! I want these!!
my favorite falafel experience involved a hole-in-the-wall falafel place in NYC at 12AM and a boy I had a crush on. perfect date if you ask me.

vanillavivante.wordpress.com

Jess M May 5, 2010 at 8:51 am

I went to the University of New Hampshire, and there is a little falafel shop near campus called Pauly’s Pockets. It is the best! I stopped by many times to get a quick dinner or lunch.

Now I’m craving falafels!! :)

Jenny R. May 5, 2010 at 8:51 am

mmmm falafel chips? count me in. My family is part Israeli..nuf’ said lol.

Tyrah May 5, 2010 at 8:53 am

My favorite falafel experiences were from our local mediterranean dive, it was cute, but one of those places I’ll only check out if it’s recommended, you know? Anyways we loved their falafels complete with sliced pickles all wrapped up, mmm. They have since closed :( I bet those chips will be awesome in hummus!
Glad that you guys are alright with the severe weather you’ve had, hope your town recovers quickly too.

Danielle May 5, 2010 at 8:54 am

Well its not a memorable “falafel” experience per se, but, I once saw a middle eastern restaurant named “Pita Pan” and I nearly ran my car off the road laughing so hard. Sucker for puns :)

erintakescontrol May 5, 2010 at 8:56 am

There is a little restaurant in one of the historic districts of Omaha that has a restaurant called Amsterdam Falafel and Kabob. The menu is incredibly limited and simple – falafel sandwich, doner kabob, falafel salad, doner kabob salad, hummus plate, and curry fries. I always get the falafel sandwich and curry fries. The best part about AFK? They deliver by BICYCLE. So cool. Too bad I no longer live in their delivery area!

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 5, 2010 at 8:57 am

My favourite falafel are from a restaurant called El-Mayor in my home town :d

Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) May 5, 2010 at 8:59 am

That is so funny! I was just daydreaming of falafel yesterday and made the best imitation I could manage by mashing some chickpeas and garlic and spices together and rolling them in flour and then pan frying them. Needless to say, it did not satisfy the craving. The chips are funny! Probably so good, but my fave thing about falafel is the crunch and the texture :)

Shrinking Girl May 5, 2010 at 9:00 am

I’m so ashamed, I’ve never had falafel. :(

sarah May 5, 2010 at 9:00 am

my best falafel experience was making it at home for the first time! wrapped in a homemade pita with lots of cucumbers – yum!

deb May 5, 2010 at 9:01 am

Oh dear, I was in London for a business trip and had dinner out with a bunch of friends. We went to a tiny hole-in-the-wall Greek place. We were the only people there, other than the owner and what looked to be his son, the cook. The owner was most gracious and friendly, but we could see his poor son struggling to cook, and his father getting more and more impatient with him. A few times he yelled at him and a couple times they switched jobs – the boy was our clumsy waiter. We gave him a good tip and told the owner how nice his son was.

We had some falafel with the meal…it was just ok…

I’ve never had the chips, they sound wonderful!

Kristen May 5, 2010 at 9:02 am

We had a great place in town called Falafel Hut, which closed. Good memories!! Those chips look awesome and proteinaceous!

lindsay May 5, 2010 at 9:02 am

THose look and sound yummy! Would love to try those! My favorite falafel experience was with my husband at a place called ROXY’S in San Deigo. It was a feast of pita bread, falafel, humuus, and dolmas. We still talk about going back to that little mom and pop place…..ahh someday. ;)

Danielle May 5, 2010 at 9:03 am

I would love to try falafel chips! I’ve actually only had falafel twice: Once was store-bought (yuck) and once was homemade (delish)

mayapamela May 5, 2010 at 9:03 am

Such a great giveaway! I love falafel, but I think the most memorable falafel was on the streets of Amsterdam at a falafel joint with an all you can eat toppings bar. You could just go up whenever you wanted and load the pita up with tabbouleh, tomatoes, cucmbers, pickled eggplant, carrot salad, tahini, and so much more. The chain is now in DC and New York, too, but I’ll always think of it as Dutch.

Grace May 5, 2010 at 9:06 am

My best friend and I were on a road trip up the East Coast (from Florida to NH) a few years ago. We stayed one quick night in NYC to visit a friend of hers. Her friend insisted we go to this hole-in-the-wall place for falafels. The line wrapped around 2 city blocks, but I still remained skeptical. I was starving, and I couldn’t imagine this falafel tasting SO GOOD that it was worth a 45 minute wait. But we waited- and her friend was absolutely right. Fresh patties lovingly pocketed inside a thick pita, covered in a tingly sauce. The blaring horns, tall buildings, and annoying pigeons melted away as I closed my eyes and savored every. single. bite. Definitely worth the wait. I only wish I remembered the name of the place!

Kati May 5, 2010 at 9:09 am

I would love to try some falafel chips! The best falafel I’ve had was in Barcelona..I studied there for a few months, and the falafel shops there are amazing. The best part is the toppings bar where you can load your pita with hot sauce, veggies, tabouli, etc…yum!

Heather May 5, 2010 at 9:10 am

Favorite falafel experience? Definitely in Granada, Spain after an intensive freezing day of roaming around and sight seeing the hilly town. No falafel sandwich can ever live up to the one I ate there.

Erica May 5, 2010 at 9:10 am

I love exposing friends who are very “set” in their eating ways to new foods!! Ow- these chips sounds awesome. I have actually never had falafel (I KNOW!) but I love Mediterranean food, so I know I’d love these. Wonder if they’re available in Charleston?? Going to check!

Nicky May 5, 2010 at 9:15 am

my best falafel experience was when me and 4 friends made our way out at 2:30am to falafel palace in cambridge, ma. they’re open ’til 3am on weekends, and some how falafel just tastes its best that late at night!

samantha May 5, 2010 at 9:15 am

when i lived in paris, i ate falafel at least once a month! there is an AMAZING falafel place, very famous, l’as du falafel where the line stretches all the way down the block.

taking my friends there is among my favorite memories, ever.

Jessica May 5, 2010 at 9:16 am

I’ve actually never had a falafel! I would still LOVE to try these chips though :)

Valerie @ City|Life|Eats May 5, 2010 at 9:16 am

I love love love falafel – my most memorable falafel experience was in college – I had falafel at this wonderful middle eastern restaurant in boston (cambridge actually) for an early saturday lunch, then a friend of mine was visiting that day from out of town, and wanted to go there for dinner, so I had falafel twice in one day. LOL. Would love to try the chips :)

Jenny May 5, 2010 at 9:17 am

Strangely…the best falafel I’ve ever had was in Oslo, Norway!

Kelly Michelle May 5, 2010 at 9:19 am

Yum! My best falafel experience was visiting a friend on Long Island. We traveled to NYC for the day and ended up having some random guy in a jewelry store recommend this place to eat so we went and it was this tiny little hole in the wall that you could barely walk inside it was so small and the falafel was so so so so so good.

allison May 5, 2010 at 9:19 am

oh man im so glad this is your question! i love this story:

i was visiting a friend in new york city. we were out for the night and i heard about a little falafel stand down the street, but they were closing in 5 minutes. i was wearing a dress and 4 inch heels, and i started RUNNING down the streets of NYC for this falafel. ultimately, i ate it, and came crashing down into the pavement. i cut my hand, but managed to make it in time for my falafel. and i still have the scar to prove it!!!

Mallory May 5, 2010 at 9:21 am

yum, those look awesome! i’d be all over that spicy bag like nobody’s business…

i’ve had some really delicious falafel in my day (wait, i’m only 24?) but i think my most memorable experience with it is when i tried making them at home… baked. they turned out realllllly crumbly and disgusting looking (but did i eat them? oh yes. of course i did) … i obviously need to refine this skill :)

Emily H May 5, 2010 at 9:22 am

Well, I think falafels are actually my favorite food. Too bad they’re normally deep-fried, although I have made my own baked falafel. My best experiences with falafel are and have been at a Lebanese restaurant my family frequents about twice a year. I obviously have falafel more than twice a year, but its never as good as this. Sometimes when you visit a place only on special occasions, it makes the food that much better.

Interesting concept of falafel chips though…

Amisha May 5, 2010 at 9:24 am

My favorite falafel moment is visiting some guy friends of mine on a random Saturday afternoon. They wanted MEAT and I wanted middle eastern food, so we settled on Famous Dave’s and a local falafel joint I had never been to. It was the BEST falafel I’ve ever had! The pita bread was so soft and fluffy. All I have to say is that everyone had meal envy!

I still dream of that falafel.

Erica H. May 5, 2010 at 9:28 am

I traveled to Israel for three weeks a few years ago, and we stopped at a roadside stand for falafel and shwarma. It was a family that had owned the stand for decades. Everything was fresh and chopped/cooked right in front of us. UNBELIEVABLE. They were so big, and so delicious. We ate them on patio overlooking the beautiful landscape. When I have a bad day, I imagine myself there, eating falafels :)

yourkindofsalad May 5, 2010 at 9:29 am

Hmmm, my favorite falafel is…..my own! (SO egotistical, I know ;) – Being Lebanese-American I like to roll with my way of cooking middle eaastern. Plus when I make falafel at home I bake the falafel, not fry it, use WW pita, non-fat greek yogurt for the sauce, etc.

A close second would have to be Falafel King in Boston (http://www.falafelkingwinterstreet.com/001home.htm) It legit is in a strip mall that looks like “The strip mall god forgot” – but dayam is their falafel amazing. Plus – they give you a hot falafel ball while you’re waiting in line. Niiccee. There’s also another Falafel King location in Quincy (http://www.yelp.com/biz/falafel-king-quincy) – also scrumptious and a little cuter interior :)

Anna (twelve22) May 5, 2010 at 9:31 am

Ooh, I think my best falafel experience was one day in London, during a hard day of walking and shopping. None of the restaurants I’d considered eating at were open, so we would up at Maoz and had the best falafel pitas ever! (Opinion might have been influenced by ridiculous hunger, at that point.)

sal May 5, 2010 at 9:33 am

love falafel! I recently made my own homemade falafel and pita bread. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it. so delicious!

Katie May 5, 2010 at 9:34 am

When I was living in Paris, a friend who was studying in Spain came to visit. We’d heard all about this amazing falafel stand on the Rue des Rosiers, Paris’ Jewish quarter, and new we had to try it. We spent the morning museum-hopping, then got in line for the falafel. The line was long and was barely moving. It was cold. A girl and her boyfriend cut in front of me, and it was all I could do to keep myself from letting out a stream of French obscenities. Finally, 45 minutes later, we made it to the front of the line and got pitas filled with fresh falafel, shredded carrots, beets… everything. We were ravenous, and immediately forgot all about the cold minutes spent leading up to that delicious moment.

sarah @ syrupandhoney May 5, 2010 at 9:35 am

I looove falafel and enjoy making them at home. I usually bake them but a while back I put the extra effort into frying them as part of a Daring Cooks challenge: http://syrupandhoney.typepad.com/blog/2010/02/daring-cooks-mezze.html

missyrayn May 5, 2010 at 9:36 am

I like homemade falafel but not at restaurants. I wonder if I would like these. I need to check Whole Foods next time.

Tracey May 5, 2010 at 9:42 am

I would love to share a story but I must be honest. I’ve never had a falafel. I don’t know why I haven’t had one but it’s probably time I tried one!

Cara May 5, 2010 at 9:47 am

To be honest, I don’t have falafel nearly enough, so I’m not sure if I have a very memorable experience! I think trying these chips would be the most memorable :)

Clara May 5, 2010 at 9:47 am

I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and I lived in a neighborhood with a large Arabic population. After a night of drinking downtown, I’d hop on a night bus which let me off RIGHT IN FRONT of an all-night falafel joint, Alanya Kebab…I will never forget it. Nothing has ever tasted so good as the “Lill Falafel” (little falafel in Danish), with the yogurt sauce and spicy harisa and lettuce and tomatoes. I was never big on drunk-eating before that, but sadly the falafels at 2 am converted me…

Ashley S May 5, 2010 at 9:49 am

My most memorable falafel experience was when we were on vacation in Denver and my husband got really sick and was laid up in a hotel in Downtown Denver. I felt so sorry for him and we needed dinner, so I drove around on my own and found a little hole in the wall Greek place. I ordered a bunch of greek food and falafels to take back to him in the hotel room and they ended up being the best we ever had. It made him feel a lil better too! :)

Manda May 5, 2010 at 9:49 am

I’ve never had “real” falafel… I’m not a big deep-fried eater ;) However, I do eat the sunshine falafel burgers on a regular basis. Yummy…

Becca May 5, 2010 at 9:52 am

I love your non-traditional dinners!

Lauren May 5, 2010 at 10:00 am

I do not have a favorite falafel experience yet because I have never tried them. When I was younger I didn’t know what they were so I stayed away from them. Now that my tastes have matured I would love to try them but I just haven’t had the chance yet (my husband is a very picky eater). Thanks for the chance to win.

Amy May 5, 2010 at 10:01 am

I’m not sure that I’ve ever had a proper falafel… I worked at a sandwhich place called “Bad Assed Jacks” and they served falafels on a bun or in a tortilla wrap, none of the right sauces.. and it was the highest fat thing on the menu so I didn’t tend to eat it. Falafel chips sound yummmy though… and they’ve just opened a couple new restaurants in my tiny town that serve it and am waiting for a date night to go try!

Kayla May 5, 2010 at 10:02 am

My most memorable falafel experience was probably the first time I tried, and HATED them!! For whatever reason, the flavor just threw me for a loop!! However, since I hardly dislike anything, I tried them again, and love ‘em now!!

Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather May 5, 2010 at 10:02 am

I’ve only tried falafel once and it wasn’t a good experience. Dry. Flavorless. I need some falafel chip action to entice me to them again!

abbynormally May 5, 2010 at 10:07 am

The first time I had falafel!!! It was in Cape May on my honeymoon! A cute little shop right along the beach….delicious! It was love at first bite!

Maria May 5, 2010 at 10:07 am

I only had falafels a few times from the WF hot bar. It weighs a lot, but totalllly worth it :)

Abbey May 5, 2010 at 10:08 am

So funny, I was supposed to go to a little hole in the wall place last week with my preggo friend for some falafel lovin – well, she went into labor that morning and we couldn’t go (obviously). Soooo, still waiting to experience it but I am DYING to. And I would love a chance to win some of your chip bounty :) Spicy sounds freaking awesome to me! Thank HEAB.

p.s. new falafel plans in place for next Thursday :)
Is falafel “healthy” in your opinion? I am still going to eat either way, just wondering.

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 5, 2010 at 10:50 am

Abbey, Since falafels are normally fried, I wouldn’t say they’re usually the healthiest item on the menu…but they are so yummy and worth the bit of extra fat and calories in my opinion. :)

Lauren May 5, 2010 at 10:08 am

I’m kind of afraid to admit this, knowing that falafel is a foodie blogger staple in many cases, but I’ve never actually tried it :( Can I still win?? :)

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 5, 2010 at 10:57 am

Lauren, Of course you are entered to win as long as you promise to get yourself to a Middle Eastern restaurant soon! :)

runnerforever May 5, 2010 at 10:09 am

Oh wow, they were generous! Believe it or not, I have never tried falafel, sounds like I need to!

Ameena May 5, 2010 at 10:13 am

I love falafel! My favorite falafel was in Amsterdam when my husband and I were on vacation and we couldn’t find a single good thing to eat and then we came upon this little chain called Maoz and fell in love! Best falafel ever.

Amanda May 5, 2010 at 10:15 am

The first time I ever had falafel was after my first time indoor rock climbing. I instantly fell in love with both! I like that the place I go to makes ‘baked’ (really just microwaved) falafel and they give you a nice cripy falafel with hummus to much while you wait! And a free chunk of baclava!

Sammi May 5, 2010 at 10:17 am

I am a little obsessed with falafel. My favorite falafel comes from a small Mediterranean cafe near my college.. it’s the only place I have been to that serves falafel with a whole pickle in the wrap.. it is heaven! But I guess my favorite memory of falafel is from when I was really young in Hebrew School.. they used to serve us homemade falafel and hummus in a pita for special occasions :)

Tiffany May 5, 2010 at 10:18 am

ahh i’ve never had a falafel before, but i would LOVE to try the falafel chips! you make them sound so delish!

Jennifer (take the day off) May 5, 2010 at 10:22 am

Just saying the word falafel is fun. Falafel falafel falafel.

I tried to make them from a box mix once upon a time. Homemade is much, much better!

Sarah L. May 5, 2010 at 10:27 am

My most memorable falafel experience would have to be one I had on a date with my boyfriend early on in our relationship (we weren’t even “official” at this point). We had gone on a few dates at his point but one week we were both very busy so in order to get some time together he met me after work and we grabbed a bite before my night class. We went to a place on campus that has AMAZING falafel, I almost lived off those things in first year. That night was no exception but I think they tasted even more delicious with all that puppy love in the air. :)

greenbean May 5, 2010 at 10:33 am

its a shame. i’ve still never had a falafel. ugh!

Laura May 5, 2010 at 10:34 am

I love falafel. The first time I ever had it, I made it myself on a whim after finding a recipe. They had great falafel at a little restaurant where I used to eat when I lived in Florida.

However, my most memorable falafel experience was two years ago, on my honeymoon. We went several different places, but the falafel happened in Athens, Greece. My husband had torn some ligaments in his foot at Delphi the day before. We had planned to spend most of the day in Athens sitting on our balcony, eating Greek delight and drinking tea while watching people come and go from the Temple of Zeus right across the street. He couldn’t stand that idea though, as it was the last full day of our honeymoon and he wanted to see the Parthenon and Ancient Agora.

He wrapped his ankle up really tight, and we headed out for a slow walk through the city. We got to see what we wanted to see, but we were starving after all of that walking. We needed to eat and couldn’t make it back to the city proper or the hotel in time for lunch because of his foot. So we did one of those things they tell you never to do in a foreign country and bought veggie gyros and falafel from a guy with a little cart on a street corner. It was so good I almost cried. I ate mine and half of his, and to this day not another falafel has been as good.

Man was that ever a good trip!

And also, OMG LOST! I cried. A lot.

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 5, 2010 at 10:55 am

Laura, I love eating local food where ever I go – those little hole in the wall places or street carts are always the best.

LOST was so good last night. Very sad, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the final episodes!

gavrielski May 5, 2010 at 10:34 am

When I was in France in 2007, my boyfriend and I searched out a tiny hole-in-the-wall falafel place that was famous because Lenny Kravitz was a devoted customer. It wasn’t even a restaurant–just a kiosk in the middle of the Mareilles district–and the line went halfway down the block. We got our falafel sandwiches with the works and ate them sitting on the curb next to hundreds of other falafel eaters. Definitely memorable!

julie May 5, 2010 at 10:39 am

hmmm my falafal story?! i have none!! actually i guess the fact that every time i go to whole foods i throw a falaf ball in my box praying that it will be good and every time i’m really dissapointed that it’s not haha

Katherine: What About Summer? May 5, 2010 at 10:39 am

I totally got some falafel on my step too! I was just talking about how I’m not you and look what happens. I’m going to link you in my post, so when you notice your readership increase, you’ll know why (haha just kidding- biggest joke of the century)
Katherine

JJ May 5, 2010 at 10:43 am

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 c [1 can] chickpeas, drained
1/2 c yellow onion, chopped
2 tbls parsley, chopped
1 tbls lemon juice or water
2 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 tbls flour
*veggie oil for frying
*bread crumbs for coating

:combine chickpeas, onion, parsley, water, garlic, spices in the bowl of a food processor :
:process on HIGH until it forms a smooth paste – scrape the sides of the bowl as needed :
:transfer mixture to a bowl and add baking powder and flour – adjust seasoning to taste :
:refrigerate for twenty minutes :

:heat oil to 360 degrees in a deep pot or pan over medium/high heat :

:with damp hands, shape batter into balls and flatten into patties :
:toss each patty in breadcrumbs before frying :
:fry in batches until golden brown – about three minutes :
:drain on paper towels before serving :

ENJOY! [i'm sure you can HEABify this recipe if you need to. it's super messy and fun to make. and even more fun to eat!]

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 5, 2010 at 10:52 am

Thanks JJ. Can’t wait to try this. I’ve never fried my own falafels – just done the baked thing. This should be fun! :)

Evan Thomas May 5, 2010 at 10:43 am

Ive never eaten a falafel! Hopefully I can still be in the running for the chips

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Evan, Dear fellow lover of chickpeas, I must say I’m disappointed in you! However, I’ll still enter you in the contest, but you better get a falafel in your belly soon! ;)

Susan May 5, 2010 at 10:45 am

I just had to google hushpuppies!! Canadians just don’t eat a lot of cornbread. I don’t get it.

Anyways, best falafel memory is when I attempted to make my own. It was a grand failure, and made me appreciate the tasty little gems I get at my favourite pita place!

elaine May 5, 2010 at 10:45 am

like many good things in my life, falafels were introduced to me during a late night munchy run in college. it was during finals week of sophomore year and a bunch of us were cramming for a calculus final that honestly might as well have been astrophysics for all i knew about it. desperation called for delicious food and it came down to either our tried and tru Mixed Bowl (thai food) or the newly opened Falafel Corner. Having never tried falafels, but really digging the sound of the word (that’s how i usually make my most important decisions) we decided to go there and the rest is history. I now count falafels as one of the great loves of my life :)

Michelle May 5, 2010 at 10:48 am

My favorite falafel experience was getting a late night falafel from a stand in Rome after a late night of dancing in a very European club while I was studying abroad years ago. Probably the best falafel I have ever had!

Heather May 5, 2010 at 10:52 am

Those chips look great!

My best falafel would have to be Central Square, Cambridge, MA Falafel Palace. They were open late night.

Ashley May 5, 2010 at 10:52 am

When I lived in Rome there was nothing to eat but Italian food, and i got sick of pasta fast! We used to say “basta pasta!” which means “enough pasta!”. One day when walking through a new alley on the way to class we came across a small hole in the wall Greek takeout place. I had never eaten falafel but was desperate for something that wasn’t pasta! I think that falafel pita was the best tasting one I’ve ever had! Who knows whether it was better or i was just dying for something different to eat, but i’ll never forget how happy i was to have found this little greek place!

Cellabella May 5, 2010 at 10:57 am

Those look crazy delicious! My first experiences with falafel weren’t good at all, every time I ordered falafel from somewhere, it was dry, crumbly, tasteless, or hard. But then I went to a little lebanese restaurant with a friend a few years back. I wasn’t in the mood for meat so I ordered the veggie plate, thinking I’d fill up on the other goodies and leave the falafel alone. But when I took a bite, just to try it, it was delicious! Tender, compact but light, with a crunchy crust and meaty flavor. It won me over. I was converted :)

Fallon May 5, 2010 at 11:00 am

The first time I tried a falafel was actually at the Wholefoods hot bar. I split it with my mom, it was really good on top of my salad!

LIberty May 5, 2010 at 11:06 am

My most memorable moment, was attempting to make falafel in the crock pot, which I had been assured would turn out individually crispy and delicious! All I can say is – not som uch. Back to the cast iron. *blessings*

Lea May 5, 2010 at 11:08 am

yum…i’ve been looking for those chips everywhere with no avail.

my friends were visiting from out of town and after walking the city all day long, we just picked a random restaurant and had the best falafel ever. i love it when that happens.

Dee May 5, 2010 at 11:13 am

I remember getting a falafel wrap from this whole in the wall place here in NYC. It was for lunch so I wasn’t expecting anything special. I took my first bite and was blown away. It was amazing!

I really should get it again soon!

Wendy F May 5, 2010 at 11:15 am

A friend introduced me to them…did not know what they were and had always opted for a chicken shawarma versus a vegetarian meal. After a falafel & pita sandwich topped with garlic sauce, pickled turnip, and lettuce prepared fresh at a local shawarma eatery, I was sold !

Jenny May 5, 2010 at 11:28 am

I had falafel in Oman four years ago with locals by the sea at dusk after spending the day in the desert. Nothing will ever top that for me!

Meredith May 5, 2010 at 11:28 am

My first and favorite falafel experience was in Amsterdam. Falafel is very popular there and there seems to be falafel joints on every corner. What made them great were the gi-nourmas toppings bars. They had a vast array of veggies and sauces to top your falafel. I can’t find anything like it here at home.

Annie D. May 5, 2010 at 11:33 am

My first falafel was actually just a month or two ago! The one that I had were SO spicy… and SOOO GOOOD. I haven’t tried making them at home yet, but I will soon!

eatmovelove May 5, 2010 at 11:37 am

Wish I had a funny experience but have never tried! Although a friend always got them at The Pita Pit…

Sarah R May 5, 2010 at 11:43 am

Can you believe I’ve only eaten Falafels onces?! I must remedy this soon!

Carly May 5, 2010 at 11:43 am

I’ve had many many falafel moments, but my absolute favourite has to be eating one, hot and fresh, from a stand in Jerusalem while on vacation in Israel. The crisp lettuce, juicy tomato, sour pickles and tingling hot sauce combined with the tahini sauce and falafel was so utterly fantastic that I still dream about it, 16 years later!

Stacie May 5, 2010 at 11:43 am

We go to Gyros Gyros (but get falafels, yum!). Would love to try these chips!

Tina May 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

Mmmm falafel is one of my favorite things! My most memorable experience was at this restaurant in Seattle called Lola. Tom Douglas, the owner, has 5 restaurants in Seattle. This one has a Greek theme to it. Every day he has a “late night” menu which has some fun dishes for a lesser price. I went with my mom, sisters, and some other girlfriends one night. I ordered the falafel and it was AMAZING. It was around 10 or 11 at night, and the ambience in the restaurant was incredible. I’m hoping to take my boyfriend on a date there sometime :)

thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

Allison May 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

Nosh With Josh, circa 1993ish while I was a sophmore at the College of Charleston. It was the best little Israeli place that has since closed. That restaurant introduced me to the wonderful world of falafel (and hummus, and tabouli and . . . )

cinnazimtanie May 5, 2010 at 11:47 am

When I went vegan in Michigan, all I had was falafel for weeks. When I visited Chicago my friend insisted on getting falafel and I obliged, though I was really tired of it. We got it from this little deli in andersonville and ate it while walking around town. Oh my god. It was the best falafel I’ve ever had. I couldn’t remember the name OR location of the place but I managed to find it again on a second trip. I must have walked for hours! Good falafel is worth hunting down!

kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com May 5, 2010 at 11:56 am

YAY!!!!!!!!!! what an exciting package awaiting u when u came home!!! luckyyyy <3

Dani May 5, 2010 at 11:58 am

HEAB, there is NOTHING like falafel in Israel. Seriously the best falafel I’ve had was from a little hole in the wall place in Tel Aviv. Americans do a pretty good rendition, but the jews really know what’s up :)

Cat May 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm

My most memorable falafal moment! I went to college at the University of Washington in Seattle and “The Ave” is a street adjacent to campus full of cheap, yummy food, all of different ethnicities. It’s great!

“Aladdin’s Gyro-cery” was one of our favorites because it was open until like 3 or 4am and was SUPER yummy. Heck, I went there even during the day, so it really had nothing to do with the hours it was open! Anyway, one night during sophomore year, my brother who is 6’5 and a very athletic/big guy was visiting me. We’d gone to some parties and on our walk home, my best friend/roommate was not feeling so well and started complaining. So my brother picked her up, threw her over his shoulder and carried her! It was like 8 blocks or so to Aladdin’s, but he carried her the whole way! We had our falafel and gyros, my roomie got sick in the back garden and then he carried her home!

A VERY memorable falefel experience indeed!

Jen Trinque May 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

My favorite falafel experience is when I ate the best falafel ever – on a trip to New Zealand! My friend Christy and I were on the South Island and there was a cute little town by a lake…Te Anau, I just Googled it, and we got this awesome falafel at a little teeny place right in front of the lake. We then ate it outside on a picnic table on the sidewalk, taking in the gorgeous views. Heavenly!

Sandi May 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

My most memorable falafel experience–at first I couldn’t think of anything but then suddenly I remembered. A few years ago I spent a week in Shanghai and I stayed with some really old friends of my parents, a couple who they had been close to around the time I was born but then we moved away, so I never really knew them. I had been living on my own in Japan at the time and eating a lot of bagels, rice and broccoli. They were the most warm, inviting people and their apartment, though small, was so gorgeous and homey, and such a stark contrast to my tiny dorm room in Tokyo. The first night the wife made falafel and tzatziki for dinner and they talked to me about the olden days while we ate. Falafel in Shanghai…definitely a memorable experience.
Those chips dipped in hummus (and by dipped I mean smothered) sounds amazing.

Carbzilla May 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I’ve eaten them here and there, but my most memorable experience was on a phone call with my brother who told me he’d cooked for his wife and she’d gotten food poisoning. I asked, “What did you make?” He said “I made her falafel.” I said “Well, of course she felt awful, it’s food poisoning, but what did you make for dinner?”

We went round for a few more minutes before I finally got it. Totally a “Who’s on First” routine!

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Hilarious Carbzilla! :)

thedailyoatmeal May 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm

The first time I tried falafel was in graduate school. I had this hole-in-the-wall joint I would go to for quick, somewhat healthy eats when I was spending all day at the library. The place was called Pita Pete’s and they made the most amazing Hummus Pitas! One day, though, I ventured into Falafel Pita land; my life was never the same :)

Courtney May 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Those look sooooo good!! My most memorable experience of falafel is when my boyfriend of only a few weeks brought over all the ingredients to make falafel balls at home. I had never had them before, and we had such a fun time molding the sticky little balls and trying to figure out if the oil was hot enough or if they were done… good times, and some of the tastiest falafel I have ever had!

annecalista May 5, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I tried a sample of those chips in a gourmet grocery store one time…. they are SO good! I <3 falafel.

Kat May 5, 2010 at 12:38 pm

My most memorable falafel experience was actually the first time I tried it. I was studying abroad in Cyprus and some friends were trying to convince me how good falafel was and how I absolutely had to try it while we were there. For whatever reason, I was convinced I would hate them, but eventually I gave in and tried them, and of course loved them :) . Because of that experience I now also love tahini!

Brittany May 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Those chips are delish. Eaten with some good hummus!

Sarah (from See Sarah Eat) May 5, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I live for falafel! I’m having it tonight as a matter of fact, one of my girlfriends is making some for our Wednesday night potluck which this week will be celebrating my birthday :)

But my favorite restaurant falafel is from a place called Shiraz here in Louisville. YUM!

Lina May 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I love falafel and am so upset that I can’t eat them out anymore due to my food allergies. Before my food intolerances started my then boyfriend and I used to drive into NYC every single sunday. Every weekend I would wake up to a text message saying falafel :-D and I would head up to his house and we’d drive out to ny. We discovered the best little hole next to St. Marks Place that was called Cinderella. They had the best falafel ever! I still remember the first time we went there. They were watching music videos on a wide screen tv, and as we’re eating the music video for “my humps” by the black eyed peas went on. Every single person in the joint turned their head to the screen, eyes glued for the whole song. Then a burst of laughter erupted. I don’t think I will ever forget that day.

Michelle May 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm

My most memorable falafel experience was eating it at a restaurant my boyfriend and I wandered across late at night when we were starving. It was summer and that midnight falafel really hit the spot :)

jacob c May 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I don’t even know what a falfel is, ha!
I’m to american..
Worth a try though!

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) May 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I made baked falafel at home and I was in heaven!!! I love it. Those chips sound delicious! I will definitely be checking them out!

granintraining May 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm

When I lived in Aarhus, Denmark, there was a ‘Bazar’ right up the street from where I lived. There are ALOT of Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian, Greek and Croatian immigrants in Denmark as a result of their excellent policies on war refugees. (They get access to the free university and healthcare!) So there was this AMAZING stand right as you came in the door that instead of frying the the falafel up in balls they broke it up like “hamburger”, loaded the tabbouleh and the fresh homemade tzatziki. SO, eventually I became referred to as “Canada Falafel Girl” and got the most amazing FREE FALAFEL when I told them I had to sadly go back to Canada. I still have falafel dreams and want to try making it crumbled up!

KL May 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm

hate to admit it–i have never tried a falafel. I actually picked up a bag of these chips at my local Whole Foods — but didn’t end up buying them–wasn’t sure if I wd like them. But I trust your taste — i am going to have to try them now!

Gina G May 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm

those sound so good! my most memorable memory is when my mom and I bought a package of them to make at costco, but i’m the only one who loved them! =)

Allison W. May 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Mezza Grill in Chicago!

Susannah May 5, 2010 at 1:36 pm

So…I’m with all the others that have never tried falafel! The chips look AMAZING, I hope we get some in Nashville soon so I can try them! I’m always up for trying new things!

Kendall May 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Wow, I love falafel so much that the title of your blog post got me all excited! A plate of falafels with the appropriate sauces and sides is pure bliss. I even make them at home sometimes! Lets see, I’d heard about this falafel truck in Takoma Park, MD- a suburb of DC- while I was living there. One Sat. I was determined to try it, so I hopped the metro and headed out there, not realizing how far the walk would be. It was one of those spring days where it looks chilly but it gets really warm, and I totally over dressed. There was probably about an hour or so of me trudging along angrily becuase my bag was too heavy, I couldn’t shed enough layers in public to be comfortable, and I turned down a wrong street or two. When I FINALLY got there, it was indeed the cutest little truck with some of the best falafel (and sauces and sides) I’d had to date! Low and behold, during the long walk back to the metro I was in a much better mood was able to take in the town and it was by far the coolest place I’d ever been in the greater area, and I started visiting often becuase it made me happy, never heading home without eating some awesome falafel.

Allison R. May 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm

My most memorable falafel experience was from just a few weeks ago- I took my dad and sister to a traditional Greek restaurant (mind you, they are meat and potato kind of people!) and I ordered some falafels as an appetizer. They were pretty adamant about not wanting to even try them, but once they finally did they wanted to order more! I love when I can get people to try new things! :)

apartmentnearchinatown May 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I lived/worked in New Orleans for nine months. A friend of mine wanted to go to the French Quarter (smelly!!) to get a drink at a bar where he knew the owner. It got to be pretty late and we were all super hungry…I looked across the street and there was a tiny, tiny falafel stand. SCORE. It had such a long line but was worth the wait. Everyone brought their falafels back in to the bar! Take that bar food ;)

Natalie May 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm

these look interesting :)
My memorable experience was visiting my friend in DC and we ordered falafel sandwiches and at the time she was renting a room in an old man owned house and had no kitchen. We sat on her bed eating falafel pitas out of the wrappers with extra hummus. Best falafel I ever had!

Gina May 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Oh boy. I don’t usually bother entering these things, but my husband would LOVE these. Falafel is by far his most favorite food. My most memorable falafel experience would be the first time I ever had falafel, which was at a place my friend took me to in DC. The best falafal we have had though, was probably at this little Israeli place down the street from our last apartment…by the time we left, they knew my husband, he went there ALL the time.

Marcia May 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I *LOVE* falafel. Most memorable experience? I have to say the best falafel I’ve eaten is when I make it mysel, from Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook. Though the Greek place downtown is pretty good too.

Laura T May 5, 2010 at 1:56 pm

theres this restaurant in sydney called sababa and it has the most amazing and unique falafel pita sandwiches ever. seriously, the combos there are to die for

Nicole T. May 5, 2010 at 2:05 pm

I love falafels, but I had to go gluten-free recently and unfortunately most restaurants fry their falafels in the same oil as things that contain wheat, so I can’t eat them. :( I’d love to be able to try these chips! I might get around to making my own falafels one of these days……

Joanna May 5, 2010 at 2:11 pm

My term abroad while in college was in Italy, and while the food was fantastic, after a month, my roommate and I were desperate to find other ethnic cuisines. We stumbled upon a *literally* hole in the wall falafel place that was like an oasis for foods-other-than-pasta. We went there once a week for the rest of the term to the point that the guy knew us and loved us. I still have his parchment business card he gave me when we bid adieu.

Brenna Kater, the Oceanskater May 5, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I love these chips! They have them at my local grocer.

Graygrrrl May 5, 2010 at 2:19 pm

My favorite falafel experience involves my sister. She was already vegetarian at that time, but I was far from it. Not being an adventurous eater, I always ordered a gyro when we went to the local Greek food festival. One year, she looked me dead in the eye and said, “Eat this!” “What is it? I asked. She wouldn’t tell me until after I ate it. It didn’t look very special (or dangerous for that matter), just a ball of fried something. I slathered it in tzaziki, stuffed it into my mouth and must have blacked out for a minute- It was so good! She then told me it was a falafel and I’d just eaten mashed chickpeas (Beans! Gross!).

Needless to say, she was right and I’ve been a diehard falafel lover ever since!

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) May 5, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I LOVE falafel- chips sound amazing! Not sure when I had my first falafel, but I was pretty young- my great grandmother was syrian! I think my most memorable experience was when my boyfriend first tried them… and the meat-eater he is, I didn’t think he would like them… now he LOVES them and begs to get them all the time!!

xo
K

traviesa May 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I have never actually tried a falafel, despite loving all of their ingredients (and middle eastern food)!

Maybe I will make some of my own for dinner tonight!

:: Rcohelle @ Princess Hotcakes May 5, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Back in College (2001) my boyfriend and I drove from Durango, CO to Santa Cruz, CA to meet up with my sister for Thanksgiving. We followed the directions to her campus and found her college apartments but realized we didn’t have the actual Apt.#. At that time none of us had cell phones (I know, weird, eh?) and after an hour of running from apt to apt in the rain we finally gave in a got an hotel room – sadness!! The next day was Thanksgiving and with no kitchen or family we ended up eating at a cute little restaurant on the Santa Cruz boardwalk. Our Turkey Day feast was actually a FALAFEL! It was my first ever falafel ever. Forever and always when I eat falafel I’ll remember the Thanksgiving fiasco.

Kelly May 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

My first taste of falafel was actually my wedding reception! We had a mediterrean brunch buffet and that was the day I tried my very first one! I figured it was already a day of “first” why not this too?! Now whenever I eat falafel I think of my wedding! :)

kathleen May 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm

i was wandering the streets of nyc…. searching for something “different”… came across MOAZ…. didn’t know what i was eating… till after the fact…. i realized… I JUST HAD FALAFEL…and LOOOOVED IT!

<3!

Samantha May 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I wish I had an experience to share but my palate has never had falafels! The chips look mmmmm though!

So glad you got to yoga and had a great session, it really is a beautiful soreness isn’t it? Three cheers for more down dog!

KELLY May 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I would love to win because I have never tried falafel!

Katie May 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm

There once was a girl who loved falafel
Fried chickpeas balls never sound awful
She ate them in haste
Not a crumb went to waste
She now wants to try them on a waffle.

OK, so there aren’t many words that ryhme with falafel, but seriously I bet they’d be great on waffles!

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Impressive Katie. :)

foodcents May 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I remember ordering falafel on a first date, it was the only good part of that date.

I heart the falafel, but some more than others. I can always eat falafel, something so comforting about them :)

Thanks, Heather!!!

Erika (Dr. TriRunner) May 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm

I will be 100% completely honest and say that I’ve never HAD a falafel experience before!! But that is even better, because if I win, that means my experience with the falafel chips will automatically be “most memorable!” :D

BroccoliHut May 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Whoa. Falafel chips sound friggin’ fraggin’ amazing.

LesleyG May 5, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I used to work downtown, and there was this great restaurant that would pretty much add falafel to anything you liked. So, needless to say, I had falafel sandwiches, and salads, and pastas, and soups. And it made it bearable to get through the day knowing falafel was in store. Yeah. That’s pretty much the only thing I miss about that job. :)

LesleyG May 5, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Ah, dang! I had more of a comment… :) Your new yoga class/location sounds great!

Deanna May 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I love those falafel chips. I discovered them when our grocery store had them in the clearance carts. (What, doesn’t everyone shop the grocery store clearance carts?) And, I immediately went back to buy up what was left. Sadly, there was only 1 bag left.

Memorable falafel moment, eh? Um, I think it was when I had falafel sandwich in France and was trying to ask for no onions in my poor, broken, high school french. Finally the guy looked at me and said, in English, “You want it plain, eh?” :)

ari May 5, 2010 at 5:25 pm

oh my gosh. mamoun’s in new york city has the. best. falafel. i have ever had. ever. my sister brought me there, and for that i owe her my life.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) May 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Those could be very dangerous to have around the house. Falafel and chips could be my two favourites- now they’re one and same? Yikers.

Jennifer@ knackfornutrition.blogspot.com May 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

This may not be the healthiest answer, but my most memorable experience was at 3AM on a Friday night when my friend and I were walking home from a bar. We were just minding our own business when this place, a magical place, came out of no where. On a bright neon sign was the name of the place “Falafel and Fries!” We knew (both lovvving falafel), that we had to try it. We waited in line, it was out the door…and then it happened. It was unreal. Drool worthy. I will always remember that night for that falafel! :)

lo May 5, 2010 at 6:04 pm

falafel, how i love thee. i think my most memorable falafel experience was last summer when i was volunteering in palestine and living on falafel. one day in the small village of bilin my swedish friend and i were waiting for the small falafel stand to open up when a taxi dropped of this lost looking american. we promptly invited to come eat falafel with us (a great icebreaker!) a month later when i was home in states i read a sad article about three hikers who were being detained in iran. i discovered shane, the boy we shared falafel with, was one of the americans being held. they are still being held today…

http://freethehikers.org/

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 6, 2010 at 5:57 am

Lo, Wow, quite a story.

Sara May 5, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Ah, a whirlwind 3 day trip to Barcelona, we were looking for vegan eats. We found Maoz (which is also in NYC and other locations around the world) by an awesome market, and filled up with delicious falafel.

Rachel May 5, 2010 at 7:01 pm

I had wonderful falafel experiences when I was in Israel. I became so addicted (I’m a vegetarian), I found myself eating it daily for lunch. My favorite were when I was at a buffet for falafel and I would fill my pita with different sauces and french fries. Okay, I didn’t say this story was the healthiest, but it allowed me to express my creativity as I always trying new sauces with the wraps.

Alyson May 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Those chips look really fun! I love new crunchy/savory snacks that are also not a total nutritional wasteland.

First falafel experience was at Baldy’s in downtown Iowa City, Iowa, where I grew up. I ordered it because I’d never had it before and wanted to impress my hippie friends. I have no idea how authentic they were but they definitely were tasty!

helcho May 5, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I’ve made my own falafel but not with any good success. These chips sound very interesting and I love trying new foods. I never imagined they would come up with a chip form.

Cindy May 5, 2010 at 7:25 pm

My family and I had the greatest tour guide in Israel that took us to the most remote “best falafel” stands wherever we traveled. Each time Ezra would say “just 15 more minutes till we get to the best falafel in…” and each one was truly fantastic, flavorful and unique. There was never any etiquette to this meal… like standing in an open market with falafel toppings falling from our mouths or leaning against the hood of our car chatting about the unbelievable piece of history we’d just learned while scarfing down falafel. I met my husband shortly shortly after this trip and all I could talk about was Ezra our amazing tour guide and falafel. It’s a food that brings back a lot of good memories!!!

Mandiee May 5, 2010 at 7:33 pm

My grandmother tried these once when we were out together and she loved them. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been able to find them since. What a lovely treat these would be for me to give to her!

Anyway, my most memorable falafel experience was actually my first. It was when I was 11 years old and went to a international youth meeting in Germany. There was a delegation of 11 year olds from Israel who made us fresh falafel as a treat one night. Since I was vegetarian, they let me have extras. Score! No falafel has come even remotely close since and because of that, I’ve kind of given up. Sad.

Have a lovely day!
xox

Ann-Margaret May 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm

My fondest falafel memory is from this past year when I introduced my mom to falafel. She to this day can never remeber what it is called but absolutely loves the taste!!

Sagan May 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Ooh this sounds so good! I’ve never heard of falafel chips before (and they would be oh-so-perfect for me right now, too, as I’m suspecting a gluten sensitivity in addition to my mild intolerance to lactose).

My most memorable falafel moment was when my sister worked at a restaurant called The Falafel Place, and she would talk about how tasty it was and how much she loved it, AND she got a free meal with every shift… but she never brought me home falafel. Boo.

There is a serious lack of falafel in my life.

Kelly May 5, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Sadly, I’ve never had a falafel… but I would love to try those chips!

jessie May 5, 2010 at 8:07 pm

My most memorable falafel experience would be from working at the local JCC summer camp & learning that falafel is the national food of Israel!

Michelle May 5, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I was craving a salad and while at Whole Foods I saw a nice looking salad that actually had some falafel in it. I thought it was a odd at first but man that salad was good!

Jill May 5, 2010 at 8:16 pm

I’ve never had the pleasure of trying a falafel of any sort but these chips with some tsatziki sauce sound deeeelightful!

Melissa S. May 5, 2010 at 8:17 pm

ah falafel! the first time I had them I was like…is this like a meatball substitute? do I need some marinara? I got laughed at for years…

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) May 5, 2010 at 8:18 pm

falafel. I have never had one. I watched a college classmate eat them and they werent fresh and well, i wont go there but she had to throw them out and got sick!

Yoga…SO GLAD to hear this. Thanks for the reply today :) and I am sooo happy for you!!!!!!!!! Yay Heather, fabulous news! And small intimate classes on great streets in great studios = perfect!
xo

Brandi B. May 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I don’t have just one memory but what is more important is that I always share them with my mom–I can’t eat them without having her with me or bringing her some home:)

Katrina (gluten free gidget) May 5, 2010 at 8:21 pm

I have never bought falafel, only made them. We made Baked Sweet Potato Falafel and they were delicious!

Serena May 5, 2010 at 8:29 pm

How sweet of you :) When I was little there was an amazing Mediterranean place with uber-ambiance. They had belly dancers, super dim lighting, we all sat on floor cushions, and the most lively middle eastern music! So lovely. Since, it has closed, but my favorite two things to eat there are falafels and baklava for dessert. :) SO yummy.

Nana Debrah-Karikari May 5, 2010 at 8:52 pm

My most memorable falafel moment is def. in Paris my junior year abroad. L’As du Falafel in the 4th arrondissement. I still drool when I think about it. Falafel with spicy sauce, coleslaw and eggplant in a pita. SO GOOD.

Jenna May 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Those chips sounds amazing. My best falafel experience was at a vegetarian place called Maoz.. they have lots of yummy toppings to put on the falafel that comes in a pita!

Ibu May 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Would love to try some of those chips..

Shelbi May 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I spent the summer after my college graduation living and traveling in Egypt. While I was living in Alexandria I would get falafel several times a week. You can get falafel literally everywhere in Egypt, but I went to a specific store by the place I was living because the men would banter with me and ask me to marry with them. They were even more interested in me when they found out I spoke Arabic. Over the month or so that I was there I came to get to know them better and they would sit and eat with me when I came. Now every time I make falafel I am reminded of that summer and all the laughs and great stories we shared.

lola May 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm

i love falafel! i get them at mamoun’s in new york with lots of hot sauce.

Gena May 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Falafel anything sounds great to me. And I LOVE these breakfast veggies! I eat veggies in the AM constantly, and love it :)

Barbara May 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm

So glad you liked them! Spicy are so good!!! Have a wonderful week Heather!
XOXOX
Barbara

sagojyou May 5, 2010 at 11:07 pm

OMG! I saw those at whole foods today for the first time, and they’re vegan? Didn’t know that! I’m going to go sample it the next time I see them offering some!

Ilana May 5, 2010 at 11:23 pm

As an Israeli, what I am about to say is blasphemous, but my best falafel experience was in Thailand. My two best friends and I were getting ready to go out for the night, exploring the island and partying and such, and stopped off at a falafel stand before we went. Some of the most delicious falafel I’ve ever ever had. And the night to follow … also unforgettable.

sophia May 5, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Gourmet hushpuppies?! lol! I wonder what my pepperoni-pizza-lovin friend calls my nori. Probably burnt paper. Or Little Mermaid’s bacon.

Would LOVE to win this…because psst…I’ve never tried falafels before! not the real ones anyway!

blair May 6, 2010 at 1:39 am

When I study for a semester in London, there was a fantastic falafel shop near my flat. I probably averaged two a week by the end of time there!

Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) May 6, 2010 at 2:24 am

Falafel! The first time I had really good falafel I had them with my boyfriend, so it’s a fond memory!

melissa May 6, 2010 at 5:43 am

mmmm- falafel chips sound awesome! I loved middle eastern food and think these chips would be good with some quinoa tabouli as well!

Rachel May 6, 2010 at 7:50 am

I was really excited when I found out my college’s dining hall serves falafel every once in a while, but apparently none of the chefs know what it is. Over the past two years, I’ve had really wet falafel that was falling apart, falafel so dry it stuck in your throat, falafel flattened out so much it looked like a crepe, falafel in tomato sauce (?), and falafel served with risotto.

Brooke May 6, 2010 at 7:50 am

mmm… I do love me some falafel. My favorite falafel is from a little kosher restaurant on my college campus. The make the most delicious falafel sandwiches!

Astrid larsen May 6, 2010 at 7:52 am

My first experience with falaffel was in a vegan restaurant in a suburb of Dallas, Texas back in the mid 80′s. The restaurant was located in a space that the health department hadn’t permitted for cooking or a dishwasher! Food was cooked elsewhere and the dishware was disposable! The food was fantastic, including my first falaffel.

Jen Girardet May 6, 2010 at 8:17 am

I never comment on blogs (though I love reading yours daily!) but I just HAD to share my falafel story…it’s embarrassing but I will take on efor the team in the name of humor! My fiance and I had just started dating and went to a local Meditteranean Restaurant. I was reading the menu and asked him what a “fal-o-fel” was. He immediately spit coke out all over the table and laughed until he cried. He told me it was “fal-off-fel” and I started laughing uncontrollably as well. I had heard of falafel before but obviously have never seen it written on paper. Needless to say he is marrying me despite my VERY illiterate moment!
Jen

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 6, 2010 at 9:16 am

Oh my gosh Jen, that is hilarious. Hehe. Thanks for delurking to share. :)

idreamoftahini May 6, 2010 at 8:52 am

Loving reading everyone’s Falafel stories.

I’d love to win a bag.

My favorite falafel is at a Pizza joint no less. They aren’t your typical and there is so much parsley in them that they are “Green”. They are so fresh tasting and sometimes I wonder if there is really chickpeas in it, lol – but boy are they good. My favorite way to eat them is either in a pita with tahina sauce or over an isreali salad with tahina sauce -

YUMM-O-NESS!!

Melanie

Sarah May 6, 2010 at 9:07 am

Mmmm…Mine was in Israel. I would love to get a bag to dip into some homemade hummus; it brings me back to Israel nearly every time.

marie May 6, 2010 at 9:26 am

I have lovely memories of eating falafels on a perfect sping day at a Greek Festival sponsored by the local Greek Orthodox church. The food is great, and it’s always fun to go and watch the traditional dancers.

Samantha @ Food Edu May 6, 2010 at 9:37 am

I’ve never had falafel before! Am I out?—I’d love to try it but they don’t sell alot of that around here!

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