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Aug 27, 2008 02:17 PM

Falafel FREIHA

We were guided to eat a very good falafel in Montreal. Actually it was in Laval near boul Curé-Labelle on boul. perron. Right next to marché Adonis in Laval.

There's nothing like eating something fresh. "Just Falafel" could also be the name of this restaurant because that's all they serve. Typical lebanese Falafel is made from chick peas and beans and eaten all dressed (the works) with tomatoes, parsley, mint leaves, peppers, marinated cucumber, and taratore sauce or also called tahini sauce (sesame paste base).

We had 2 sandwich for under 5$. They have a few table outside but this place is a hole in the wall. There's no dining there.

We are yet to discover a better falafel sandwich than Freiha's. Let us know and we will talk about it.

hope it's okay to post like this since we can't put a direct link to our photo review. Is there a way to imbed the video here?

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  1. You can attach photos to your post, but not video.

    I like a good falafel, but please do share with a Montrealer what makes this particular falafel worth a drive out to Laval... and also worth scarfing it down in the car, if it happens not to be outdoor-eating weather. :-)

    3 Replies
    1. re: kpzoo

      Hi kpzoo
      The only thing I can say is that we went there to find out if this is really an unique place to try. And it was. That's the hole purpose of our love for food. It's to find unique place and talk about them so other can discover them.

      Quality of the product is there and you can't get more fresh than a ball of falafel right out of the round fryer they use.
      I just added 2 pics

      this is the address
      Falafel FREIHA
      3858 boulevard Perron
      (coin Cure Labelle)
      Laval, (QUÉBEC), Canada H7V 1P7

      If you know a good falafel place, let us know.

      If you go to my profile you'll have the link to go see the video (hope we're not breaking any rules by saying that)

      1. re: kpzoo

        Is this near a métro station? I'll tell my friends in Laval, but Laval is a big place. However I'm sure they already know where that branch of Adonis is.

        1. re: lagatta

          no metro in the immediate area but I guess bus from the montmorency metro station might get you there.

      2. What other falafel places in Montreal are you comparing it to?

        9 Replies
        1. re: cherylmtl

          Hi Cherylmtl,
          I personally had experiences with many of the chich taouk places in Montreal. Nothing ever came close to freiha. Remember that the key word is FRESH.

          Do you have any places to recommend?

          I never had a falafel from the jewish community. Do you know any spots in town?
          I won't mention the horrible experience at kojak many years ago. I believe kojax is considered greek?

          I know that a falafel must be eaten right off the fryer. It's not the same texture when it's cold or even reheated in a micro-wave (shame on the them) as we witnessed once another horrible experience at amir (lebanese place) on st-denis and mont-royal. Also noticed that quality control doesn't exist at amir chain. Each place is different.

          There's a difference in the way a falafel are done depending of the region in the middle east. Some use beans only but a lebanese friend told us the lebanese falafel is a mix of chick peas and different beans.

          Also if you want to laugh check out this short film that won an oscar in 2006 called west bank story. we can't talk about movies here but this one had for main subject love and falafel.

          1. re: 30sr30s

            You can't talk about films on this board but you will find discussions on foodcentric films elsewhere on the site.

            1. re: 30sr30s

              Chez Benny near the Snowdon metro station is the gold standard. (Jerusalem Express in the Cavendish Mall also has its fans. The late, lamented Bazaar served a deluxe version as an entrée.) There are several mentions/reviews of it here, on other food boards and in publications like Hour, so it's surprising that you -- a resto "review" site -- are unaware of it. Mixed falafel is hardly unique to Lebanese cuisine; the Israeli version at Chez Benny uses chickpeas and fava beans.

              1. re: carswell

                I second Chez Benny on Queen Mary. Always fresh fried to order. Also love their hummus & baba ganouj. Their "Chinese" food on the other hand is to be avoided at all costs.

                1. re: carswell

                  Hi Carswell,
                  A resto review site is not what we are. Maybe one day but we're a blog where a bunch of friends share our experiences with photos rveiews. Maybe one day we will become an official restaurant review web site and make a living traveling the world to try dishes from allover the planet. But who would quit their daily job and do such a thing ;) We are food lovers and our blog is a hobby in progress.

                  Thanks for the tip on Benny and Jerusalem express we will check it out.

                  As of how are falafel made, there's different vvariations of it. I was told many times that the jewish falafel doesn't use chick peas but beans only. So I stand corrected thanks to you. You got me curious about the origins so I found this link on falafel history. Many cultures have it but where did it really start? who knows only that it's a great dish.

                  If anyone else have suggestions for a falafel sandwiches please don't be shy to share.

                  take care

                  1. re: 30sr30s

                    > A resto review site is not what we are.

                    I must be confused then. Your homepage alone mentions the word "review" nearly 10 times, and you do cover restaurants, no? It's even in the name of your site. I guess I must not get it. ;-)

                    1. re: kpzoo

                      Thanks for pointing that out, kpzoo. That said, the format is more promo video-like than review-like, which is why I put quotes around review in my message above.

                      Back to falafel: Daou also makes a pretty good Lebanese version, bigger than most but finer in grind and drier than those at Chez Benny and not as fresh-tasting. (BTW, I got my info about the chickpea-fava mix at CB from one of the line cooks and, in view of the greenish inside of the falafel balls, never saw reason to question it, but I'm beginning to wonder if that's right; will ask the next time I'm there unless somebody beats me to it.)

                      I think the two main sins committed against falafel are making them from a mix and cooking them far in advance. I thought I'd struck gold once at BBQ Aseel on Gatineau when the cook insisted I try one a falafel straight from the deep-fryer. It was so good that the next time I went, I ordered a falafel plate. Those balls had apparently been sitting on the counter for a while and bore little resemblance to the earlier sample. Chez Benny's are smaller than most and fried to order.

                      1. re: kpzoo

                        Hi again kpzoo and Carswell,
                        Yes we do reviews but we are not a web site. We’re a blog and it's a hobby not a business. The concept is to show a slide show video of our experience in a restaurant, café, etc. The name is 30 seconds review because it last about 30s. We don’t charge people to make the reviews. We will only show places that we liked. That’s why the banner says we tried it, we liked it, it’s Showtime. If one day we travel the world eating everywhere and showing you about it the I guess we will create a web site. Hope you’re not confused anymore. Have a good week end.

                      2. re: 30sr30s

                        30, it is the opposite. Due to health reasons, Mediterranean Jewish communities made falafel from chick peas alone, not favas/broad beans alone, or a mixture of the two. I'd read that before; the wikipedia entry confirms it: "Falafel made exclusively from chickpeas became popular in Israel because of favism, a potentially fatal genetic disease among some Mediterranean Jews causing a hemolytic reaction to fava beans".

                        Alas, no branch in Villeray, although Daou may have been the first Lebanese resto in Montréal?

                2. Hello 30sr30s,

                  As a Lebanese-Armenian, I completely concur with your review. In all these years, I have not come across a healthier nor a more delicious experience than the one I frequently have at Falafel Freiha. It is quite reminiscent of my childhood in Beirut. In fact, I had some on Monday! My only contention is their location because I live quite a distance from Laval.

                  In my opinion, most Lebanese food chains/food court holes mimic the essence of what a falafel sandwich should be and should be left alone!


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sarine

                    Hey Saro,
                    I would love to travel to lebanon and the middle east and try falafel sandwiches there. I must admit that freiha took us by surprise with the flavors kicking in. My first bite was expecting something ordinnary and then like Moe said in a episode of the the simpsons "it's like a party in my mouth and everybody is invited".

                    1. re: 30sr30s

                      Now, I am dying for a falafel and there is nothing in sight in my side of the boonies!

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