I’m really obsessed with falafel right now. I think it might be my favorite food.
For take-out I suggest that we get falafel so often that Jake tries to kindly suggest other dining options. You know, because variety.
At home I frequently make Trader Joe’s bags of frozen falafel. Depending on how hungry you are, the bag contains enough to feed two dinner + few for leftovers. These falafel have a denser texture which I don’t mind. They crisp up nicely in the oven and have a good flavor. I serve them with pita pockets, tomato, bell pepper, onions and the tzatziki sauce sold in the refrigerated section. The sauce itself has a thinner yogurt texture (like you’d find in raita) and is packed with thin cucumber slices.
I read a positive review somewhere about Trader Joe’s falafel boxed mix. The reviewer mentions that it gives you a better value for your dollar, but I’m not usually in the mood to take these extra steps after work. If you’ve tried this mix, I’m curious to know your thoughts.
Many local grocery stores sell Holy Land’s little tubs of falafel (about eight) and tahini sauce near the hummus. I’ll pick these up here and there.
At work, I go to Naf Naf for falafel.
The reason why I go to Naf Naf is really simple; it’s the only restaurant I can walk to and from within my 30 minute lunch. Their falafel are really good. Naf Naf ran out when I visited recently and I saw the employee scooping falafel batter from a bowl into the fryer.
Naf Naf serves Middle Eastern pita sandwiches and bowls food “Chipotle-style” where you can add your choice of protein, garnishes, and sauces. I’ve only visited for falafel. Usually I bring my own vegetables and hummus to work. At Naf Naf, I can order one pita, three falafel and side of tahini sauce for less than $3. Then, I enjoy my feast at my desk. The falafel are crunchy and the tahini is extra creamy. I’m obsessed with their pita bread which Naf Naf bakes fresh each day. I love how fresh the bread tastes and its fluffy texture.
Another Minneapolis skyway falafel option I’ve tried is Roti.
You can find my little blurb on Roti in my post about Minneapolis Skyway restaurants.
While Roti is within walking distance of my work, the line is usually very long. I could probably just order ahead. Roti is also another fast casual restaurant where you can build your own bowl/pita/salad.
The actual falafel are freshly prepared but have a softer texture (you may prefer this). And their pita is not as good as Naf Naf’s, but the variety and quality of the toppings, sauces and garnishes is fantastic and a generous portion.
At home, I’m gravitate towards Foxy Falafel. I remember visiting the original food truck years ago before I met Jake. The falafel are still as good as I remember.
Here, the falafel are homemade and you can choose from three different flavors: Traditional, Curry and Beet. They’re so forking good. Jake likes falafel but he isn’t as excited about them as me. One evening he passed on my Foxy Falafel Friday take-out run. “Jeni, I have never seen anyone so excited about falafel,” he observed.
When I got home I made him take a bite out of my falafel sandwich. He’s very honest when I ask for his opinion on things. After a couple bites of the pita sandwich he nodded that this was the best falafel he’s ever had.
The beet falafel sandwich is served with a delicious preserved lemon and goat cheese sauce. Foxy Falafel also serves foods other than falafel and pita sandwiches, sourcing many ingredients from local farmers. When I was waiting for a take-out order, I enviously watched a table enjoy the cheese curds served with local honey.
The Wedge Co-op conveniently sells little containers of Foxy falafels and yogurt sauce in the refrigerated food section.
Two more restaurants whose falafel I want to try soon:
- Zait & Z’atar, St. Paul, MN
- Pita King, Minneapolis, MN
Feel free to share your thoughts and recommendations below!
I love your enthusiasm over falafel! I think I have only had it once or twice and obviously was not as enamored as you but then perhaps I had substandard falafel! I need to find some more authentic places to try it—I am sure there are lots of places in Asheville–just need to find them!
Let’s try this again. The inter webs ate my comment!
I love your enthusiasm about Falafel. I obviously have had subpar falafel because I could never write so eloquently about it. Is there a 12 step group for Falafel lovers? 🙂 I need to get to Asheville and find some that is worthy of such a great blog post. You always make me smile!
I finally went to naf naf for the first time a couple weeks ago, I didn’t get the falafel, but I might have to next time! I need to stop at roti, especially now that they have the edina location and the west end spot!
I really liked Roti. We ordered them for a staff lunch once and I’ve wanted to go back. Book Club was going to be at the St. Louis Park one until we found out the dining room was very small. It’s such a great option for take-out as something different than Chipotle, Noodles, etc.