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Nov 20, 2007 07:18 AM

Felafel: Max's (Wheaton MD) vs Lebanese Butcher (Falls Church VA)

Having had the felafel at both, my vote is for Max's. Lebanese Butcher's is very good felafel, but Max's is outstanding and the variety of toppings at Max's is off the charts.

OTOH, I have heard that a lot of Max's other offerings are not so fantastic, while the Butcher has a ton of good stuff.

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  1. Max's has some of the best falafel I've had, and i completely agree with your point of view here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cleveland park

      Having had what NYC says is the best (Miriam's Falafal Cart on 46th & 6th), I have to agree Max's is the best in the area.
      Anything else I've had there (shwarma, etc) is "eh".

      1. re: dagmar

        Oh, man, I absolutely LOVE their shawarma. Essentially, I think anything from the falafel bar side of things is terrific; hot stuff from the kitchen is mediocre; and cold prepared foods are good if you're keeping (or visiting) a kosher home, but usually not better than the trayfe alternatives you can get elsewhere.

    2. Nice to know, if you happen to be in one area or the other, but geez, they're at least 20 miles apart. Would you go 20 miles for a better felafel? I wouldn't, particularly when I have two pretty darn good ones (Lebanese Butcher and Jerusalem) within 3 miles.

      For the record, I think Jerusalem's felafel used to be better than it is now, but it's still not bad. Do I remember correctly that there was a change in ownership or management? I would probably need to compare them side by side (quite impractical since fresh-hot is important) i order to decide which patty I prefer, but I like the pickles better at the Butcher.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MikeR

        Where is Jerusalem? Since I work within walking distance of the Butcher, I must be pretty close to Jerusalem too.

        I started this thread only because someone on a non-felafel thread happened to mention Max's and the Butcher in the same post. And also because there is a lot of substandard, mealy felafel out there.

        I think Max's felafel is so good that when I have to make the drive up to Baltimore, I plan it around lunch at Max's. But the Butcher's certainly fills the bill for Falls Church felafel cravings.

        1. re: Bob W

          Jerusalem is just West of Bailey's Crossroads in a strip mall on Payne St, a little stub off Leesburg Pike. Payne is the last street before you get to the traffic light at Crossroads Center (Barnes & Noble, Safeway, Staples, Ruby Tuesday, etc.

          Jerusalem Restaurant
          3405 Payne St, Falls Church, VA 22041

      2. It's worth noting that Lebanese Butcher serves their falafel sandwich in more of a wrap than a stuffed pita mode. We had it just this last week. Get the sausages from the appetizer menu at LB, likewise their kibbe is excellent.

        2 Replies
        1. re: PollyG

          great minds think alike, Polly. The last time I got the felafel sandwich (It's also available as an appetizer) at the Butcher, I also got the spicy sausage (soujouk) appetizer. Too much food! I had to spread my lunch out over the whole afternoon.

          1. re: Bob W

            Yeah - the soujouk is great. There's a different sausage they serve that's sort of mealy and imo bland.

        2. I definitely agree with the post on the felafel at Jerusalem and Lebanese Butcher. I also recall something about a change in ownership. I think the change also changed the ethnic orientation, which may be responsible for the change in felafel. In general, I tend to like Lebanese style of cooking vs others--when I can pin down the origin.

          I think I very recently mentioned Jerusalem in another post (possibly on sweets), but for the record, it is in a strip on rte 7 near Bailey's Crossroads. It's perpendicular to rte 7 between the strip with the dim sum buffet and where Columbia Pike comes in.

          Drives me absolutely crazy when I see people leave pickles on their plates at Lebanese Butcher. I'm always tempted to go over and steal them.

          3 Replies
          1. re: bacchante

            LOL great call on those pickles! Maybe we could get the Butcher to add a pickle plate appetizer to the menu. Pickles from other cultures are almost always really good.

            1. re: Bob W

              I thought there was such a thing, but looking at the menu it's not clear. When I went with Lebanese friends I know we had such a thing. I wonder if it was the cheese plate or one of the salads or if they asked for it special.

              Anyway, now looking at the menu, the makanek is the sausage I referred to earlier. Nothing horrible, but certainly not even close to the goodness of the soujouk.

              1. re: Dennis S

                Agreed -- I tried the makanek on my first visit -- dried out AND mealy. Never again!

                Next time I go in there -- next week perhaps -- I ask if they can put together a pickle plate for me. I can't find it on the menu either.

          2. Have not made it to LB yet, but I am a Max's regular. I am in the Love the Schwarma camp at Max's. They also do a great Matzoh Ball soup. I don't really think I have tried anything else except fr an Isreali salad which was bland beyond belief.

            3 Replies
            1. re: deangold

              Dean: that's interesting and good to know, because that salad is one of the available toppings for the felafel, I believe. I usually tell the felafel guy to make it spicy, so if I do get that salad as a topping it must get completely lost in the shuffle.

              1. re: Bob W

                The issue with the salad is twofold... unripe tomatoes and bland/no dressing. Neiter are noticable on the felafel or schwarma sands/p[lates with everything else. There it acts as balast to carry all the other flavors.

                1. re: Bob W

                  Doesn't matter what you tell him--he always makes 'em spicy.