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Amsterdam Falafel Shop


cjsadler
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The third most important thing for sale in Amsterdam is falafel. If you've been there, you know-- it's the world's best. I was skeptical of this new place in Adams-Morgan (on 18th, next door to Chez Antoine), but stopped in for lunch last week. It's the real deal-- falafel fried to order, good bread, the huge array of toppings and sauces... Talked to one of the owners for awhile and she really seems excited about trying to serve falafel as good as you'd get in Amsterdam. There's also frites and mayo, but I wasn't hungry enough for it. Check this place out next time you're in need of a snack (and death to Pizza Mart!)

Chris Sadler

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Now if only a certain kind of shop would open which would induce a level of hunger that would facilitate the need to find a good falafel joint.

Edited by Al_Dente (log)

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Is this Israeli style or Greek style falafel? (more parsley in Greek style)

If anyone has been to the falafel counter at Max's deli in Wheaton and to Amsterdam - how do they compare?

I love the falafel at Max's deli and all of the choices of fixins to go on top. Many pickled items. Yum.

Good to know there is good falafel closer to my neighbourhood though.

Debbie S. aka "ozgirl"

Squirrel: "Darn nuts! How I long for a grapefruit." - Eddie Izzard

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Since I'm closer to Wheaton, where is this Max's Deli then?

Max's is at 2319 University Blvd., Wheaton, MD 20902 (301-949-6297) in the corner of a strip mall. Note that it and the adjoining market are both closed early on Friday and all day on Saturday.

Edited by Gary Tanigawa (log)
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The third most important thing for sale in Amsterdam is falafel.

Many bright and lovely things spring to mind when I think of Amsterdam, and falafel is not among them.

but I've never been--explain, please? why amsterdam is a point of reference for falafel, not its relative retail hierarchy?

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Many bright and lovely things spring to mind when I think of Amsterdam, and falafel is not among them. 

but I've never been--explain, please?  why amsterdam is a point of reference for falafel, not its relative retail hierarchy?

They also have insanely great Indonesian food in Amsterdam, but that's due to the Dutch colonization of Indonesia. As for falafel, I never really understood why that was so big there. Maybe someone can explain...

Chris Sadler

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Many bright and lovely things spring to mind when I think of Amsterdam, and falafel is not among them. 

but I've never been--explain, please?  why amsterdam is a point of reference for falafel, not its relative retail hierarchy?

"AMSTERDAM: Porn, Hashish, Felafel. Perfect Together"

Its right on the front of the Amsterdam Tourism Board pamphlet, didn't you read it?

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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They also have insanely great Indonesian food in Amsterdam, but that's due to the Dutch colonization of Indonesia.  As for falafel,  I never really understood why that was so big there.  Maybe someone can explain...

I'm not sure I can explain, but falafel is fairly ubiquitous in Amsterdam. Also, from what I remember, it showed up often in the parking lot during the festivities leading up to a Dead show. Coincidence?

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Yeah, I know of only one international Dutch fast food chain, and they sell- wait for it- falafel.  Here's a discussion of their Philly shop and their website.  (Israeli style, by the way).

haha. Because Febo isn't going international anytime soon! :rolleyes:

Maoz rocks.

Interesting to hear that there are new places referring to Amsterdam-style falafel.

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The food is actually quite alright, especially their fresh frites. I like their milkshakes a lot, too, but I think it's because they remind me of shakes I used to have as a kid.

What's so weird about the place is the fact that you purchase everything from a wall (except for the aforementioned frites and shakes). There are little glass doors with a shelf behind each. On the shelf there will be a piece of food, anything from one of their croquettes to a chicken burger thing. You put in your coins, and then open to door to retrieve your food. The cook behind the wall refills them, sometimes.

I know it's not an unheard of concept, but it IS still an odd presentation for a popular chain of 'restaurants' (for lack of a better word.)

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I lived in Amsterdam for a while and the prevailing theory about Febo was the automat format was primarily adopted to protect its staff from interaction with late night customers in the kind of biochemical state you have to be in to decide to eat at Febo in the first place. That said, I miss croquettes. Also all night beer busts at De Doffer and entrecote met roquefortsaus for breakfast. Also strapping women in skirts on bicycles, but this is getting waaay off topic...

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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Yes, thank you, 'automat'. The word was obviously escaping me. :smile:

It doesn't seem to matter the time of day, any customers who actually hang around inside FEBO are generally seedy-looking. It's disconcerting in the more cramped locations, but a girl's gotta get her milkshake somehow.

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Finally stopped in here last night for a quick falafel. Diagnosis: delicious! I was a little apprehensive when I saw that we were getting already-fried falafels and not fried-to-order, but they were the lightest and fluffiest that I've had yet in D.C. The toppings bar is superb. I really hope they can start to wrangle some late night business away from the Big Slice joints. I know that I'm never setting foot in 'em again while this place is around.

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I did my first jaunt down 18th street in eons today-and by eons, I mean I discovered a Saturday art fair that's been in place since March, and I live two blocks away--and you were right! I mean, I think the falafel was wonderful, but I was so happy discovering the cabbage/hummus/raita/salsa/more cabbage with my toasty pita that the crunchy soft stuff got a little bit lost...are the toppings from the netherlands? or is it like that in the middle east as well? I'm accustomed to tahini or, in a strange St. Paul variation, falafel with french fries and tahini.

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I'm accustomed to tahini or, in a strange St. Paul variation, falafel with french fries and tahini.

This is also how the falafel is served in Israel. If you're getting it from a street cart, they ask if you want tahini, hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, pickled radishes (or something along those lines) and delicious frites. Whatever you choose, they put in the pita -- including the frites. I never saw salsa, raita or cabbage though.

I've never since had falafel as good as I had in Jerusalem. AND I've never found anywhere in the States that serves french fries w/ the falafel - in the pita - either. I'll be heading over to the falafel shop soon to check it out since you all seem to like it a lot. OOOoh I'll be so excited to actually find some good falafel..... now all they need to add is shwarma :wub:

Eat.Drink.DC.

...dining in the district...

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch.

- Orson Welles

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  • 4 weeks later...

I finally went to the new Amsterdan Falafel Shop, here 's my report:

The falafel were the best I've had in DC, though the street carts in Jersusalem had better, and my man claims that Greenwich Village has better, too (actually, he claims the Village has the best falafel he's ever eaten.)

The falafel itself was crispy on the outside and not dry at all on the inside. I like the toppings bar thing, especially because they have Israeli salad (the cukes and tomato), hummus AND tahini, and pickled cabbage. The french fries were good, too -- salty, crisp, hot. Not quite as good as some places in Amsterdam but close enough. The shop has Dutch mayo - and it looks like actual Dutch mayo but is much too sweet. I think there might have been another condiment option (besides ketchup) but I forget. The half-size falafel, fries and large soda cost about $10, which I think is a little high for just fries and falafel (essentially, fast-food,) but I understand that the shop is new and has start-up costs, etc -- and it was definitely worth it. The portions were also fairly large. I think they should offer a small size for the fries, for someone who doesn't want such a large portion. However, my boyfriend though the size was perfect.

The shop was A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, with outdoor seating options on 18th St. The decor was cool, too - very simply done, kind of DIY. It was definitely Dutch-inspired, with the huge tulip painted on the wall. I like the exposed brick and the painting technique on the other wall as well. It looked like someone put personal care and time into it.

I was there on Sunday night at around 8:30, and it was quiet but with a fairly steady stream of people coming and going. The (very, very friendly) guy at the counter said that they'd been really busy the previous couple of nights - and it is the best option for food if you're drunk at 2 am. (they stay open til 2:30, i think)

Anyway, overall: A-. If they just make the mayo edible, (and maybe give a smaller fries option), they'd get an A. But I will surely be back - especially because its so close by - when I want a quick, ample and tasty meal.

Eat.Drink.DC.

...dining in the district...

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch.

- Orson Welles

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When they opened they had a small fry option (for $1.95 i think, as opposed to the $3.50 large option) but they got rid of it. Too bad, I want the fries but I don't want a pricy large portion, when I'd rather fill myself with falafel & toppings.

They've also gotten rid of their red baskets, apparently because some people were "abusing" them by stuffing toppings in them. Again, too bad, since the baskets were handy to use when removing a few falafel balls in order to layer your toppings, as opposed to have all the solid toppings on "top".

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  • 10 months later...

The Amsterdam Falafelshop is indeed fantasric. Probably the best falafel I've had in this country.

You get your choice of small or large, white or wheat bread. And there's a toppings bar so you can make your sandwich the way you like it.

And french fries. And brownies -- no pot -- for dessert.

Good, cheap, and fast. What more can you want?

It's open until 4:00 AM on weekends.

That's everything, I think.

Bruce

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