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SEA: Favorite falafel joint and fav Moroccan Restaurant?

landguy Jul 7, 2007 08:09 PM

Killing two birds with one stone in this post. Just wondering where to get a good Falafel in Seattle also wanted to see if there are any restaurants in town that have tasty Moroccan chow? Thanks!

  1. d
    dinkydog Jul 13, 2007 12:45 PM

    Zaina's at 3rd is gone?! Dang...I moved to the Eastside and lost track...
    I know you said Seattle, but I want to second that emotion about Meze...it's in a strip mall in the Houghton area, behind Shamiana (great Indian) and the PCC...fantastic. Also on the Eastside, the Mediterrean Kitchen in Bellevue on Bell Way at SE 2nd (I think) is great!

    1. l
      Lauren Jul 12, 2007 11:56 AM

      The schwarma at Lola is really good. Mainly because the pita is house made. It's all warm and has a slight char to it. And the tzatziki is really, really good.

      1. c
        christy319 Jul 12, 2007 10:34 AM

        I like the falafal at Mr D's Greek Deli in the Market. I also like the falafal itself at the place on 1st in the Market, just north of Pike Place (forget the name) though the sauce is too cumin-y for me, and the pita wrapper too thin. But I know others who like that a lot.
        I recently tried a falafal at Zaina on Cherry, since so many people rave about them. The sauce tasted like mayonaise, and the thing was packed full of raw onion. It was awful. The meat I've gotten there has been terrible, too. I don't understand why people love it here.

        3 Replies
        1. re: christy319
          dandelion Jul 13, 2007 10:14 AM

          Zaina on Cherry doesn't live up to what they used to make at the now defunct Zaina on 3rd. It's really sad.

          Falafel King (the place you mentioned on 1st) is pretty good. I like the thin pita, although sometimes it's overly chewy. And they don't have the spicy chili sauce I like.

          Palace Kitchen had falafel on their menu a month or two ago, and it was excellent. TD's other restaurant, Lolam also does falafel, but I think it's just on the late night menu.... I haven't had it, but if anything like what I had at Palace.... yum.

          I'll also second the recommendation for Alladin in the U-District. There's actually two locations on the Ave -- go to the one south of 42nd St.

          1. re: dandelion
            dagoose Jul 13, 2007 11:10 AM

            And the best part about Alladin's (the one south of 42nd anyway) is that it is open til 4am!

            1. re: dandelion
              equinoise Sep 4, 2007 01:42 PM

              I sampled Zaina's falafel last week. It was adequate for a quick lunch, and a massive portion mounded atop a pita, but not outstanding. I noted that the patties were not freshly fried, but were sitting in a steam tray. Perhaps this is acceptable for a place with really quick turnover (and Zaina was very busy during my visit) but I am skeptical of the practice. This seemed to be true of all the various meat fillings as well (shwarma, shish kebab, etc.) I am still open to trying the shwarma and baba ganouj, which reputable sources have vouched for.

              I also noticed the lack of a spit for gyros, which is fatal in my opinion, and highly indicative of using frozen Kronos meat strips. Niko's Gyros in Interbay also admitted to this, which is amazing for a place that stakes their name on gyros.

              For these reasons, I think Aladdin's Gyrocery is the better bet. Still eager to try Gorgeous George's, Cafe Presse, Falafel King. I haven't been to Sabra's or Turkish Delight for years, but I used to enjoy both.

              P.S. can we get an Dutch/Euro style fill-your-own-pita salad bar falafel joint anytime soon? See e.g. http://www.maozveg.com/pages/show/4 . Supreme customized late nite eats.

          2. klsalas Jul 11, 2007 04:07 PM

            There are three moroccan restaurants in Seattle that I can think of. There is Marakesh. This is downtown on 1st Ave in Belltown. There is Kasbah on 15th Ave and 85th (Crown Hill). Bella Rosa in Bryant also has Moroccan dishes. Kasbah and Marakesh are virtually identical in terms of menu.

            For Falafel I would add one more: Cafe Presse. They are not a falafel place as such but they do offer falafel and it was pretty good when we went there a few weeks ago.

            1 Reply
            1. re: klsalas
              klsalas Jul 11, 2007 04:12 PM

              Links for info on all three. I could find no official website for Bella Rosa. The Stranger article is about it and specifically the Moroccan menu. BTW I have been to all three restaurants. I like Marrakesh and Kasbah for variety and atmosphere but I felt that Bella Rosa reminded me of some of the mom and pop Moroccan restaurants we encountered in Paris.


            2. k
              krb Jul 11, 2007 02:26 PM

              I've been eyeing a place in Crossroads over in Bellevue called Truly Mediterranean. Has anyone been there?

              1 Reply
              1. re: krb
                bighound Jul 11, 2007 03:44 PM

                ate at truly med. 2 saturdays ago and though it was tasty,i think med. kitchen is much better. did not have the falafel, but had the babba app. which doesn't have the nice smoky flavor of med kitchen. wife had a gyro plate which she pronounced as ok. i had chicken shwarma and it tasted good for what it was but it was not as i expected. the dish had a tomato base which is very different from my fave at med. kitchen. is shwarma made differently in different regions?
                this restaurant moved here from san francisco-i believe-and was very well regarded down there.

              2. ericlutzker Jul 11, 2007 02:23 PM

                for falafel either taki's mad greek on 15th ave nw just north of 85th or even better the new gorgeous george's on greenwood and 78th. it's george who used to run mr gyro (on greenwood at 85th) until he was squeezed out by his partners. everything he makes is pretty delicious but the falafel is perfect : green on the inside and very garlicky. his meats are great too (i love the beef kafta kebab)

                1 Reply
                1. re: ericlutzker
                  Roo Jul 12, 2007 02:56 PM

                  I second the nomination for Gorgeous George. His falafel is the best I've had in Seattle.

                2. c
                  craigseattle Jul 11, 2007 09:54 AM

                  Hands down - the best EVER is at Alladin in the U-District (Univ. Way). The guys that work there are great, the service is fast, and the sandwiches are always fresh and piping hot - and all at around $5!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: craigseattle
                    clearskies0810 Jul 12, 2007 06:05 PM

                    I used to think Aladin was the best as well, until I had Zania. It spoiled Aladin's for me!

                  2. g
                    ghosty Jul 8, 2007 05:48 PM

                    The best falafel I've had is at the Meze located in a small Kirkland strip mall. Always crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, never oily or mushy. The tangy tahini sauce works great with the pita. For a quick fix the mediteranean kitchen at the food court at the top of the Westlake Center does an ok job.

                    1. m
                      mrnelso Jul 8, 2007 01:21 PM

                      When I need a falafel fix I head to Zaina or Sabra, but there is more... http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Co...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mrnelso
                        landguy Jul 8, 2007 04:08 PM

                        Cool, thanks for the article. Now I'm really hungry!

                      2. k
                        Kevin B Jul 8, 2007 09:58 AM

                        My neighbors love Marakesh on 85th but my wife has bad nut alergies which pretty much rules out Moroccan for me. (She can't even have things cooked in a pan that recently had nuts or nut oils.)

                        Zaina on Cherry has pretty good falafel. I used to go to Mediteranean Mix in Pioneer square but the last time I was there it was unusually bad. But it was late for lunch / too early for dinner on a Saturday and I was the only person there so maybe it was a fluke.

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