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Maoz Vegetarian (chain from Amsterdam) now in Berkeley

Seems it's been open over a yr, but read about it on Sfgate. Maoz Vegetarian (chain in Amsterdam) now in Berkeley! Who's been?

Signature Maoz Sandwich $7.15-8.95, soups, salads, fries

Article:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

Maoz Vegetarian
2395 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
Hrs:
S-W 11-9
Th-Sat until 10
www.maozusa.com

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Maoz Vegetarian
2395 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

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  1. Yes, it seems like it's been there for a while. I go every Wednesday on my way to Rasputin's to buy cheap videos.

    Although probably not "authentic" I like Maoz a lot. Their falafel are made to order and very crunchy but not hard. Flavor is fine. My favorite thing is the vegetable bar. I load my Junior Maoz up with beets and roasted cauliflower and cliantro sauce. The roasted red peppers are good too. With the Junior, you can only visit the bar once. With the Senior you can make return visits, however I found that I visited too often and left feeling bloated. The Junior is a fine lunch for me.

    They also used to have Faygo rootbeer in cans. Prior to Maoz, I used to go to Sunrise, which I would wager is more "authentic," but Maoz is more to my western taste.

    1. Have been to them in Paris and Philadelphia. The falafgel seems the same but the ingredients in the salad bar vary by location, sometimes better in Paris, sometimes not. The items also vary. If salad bar is good, it can be excellent.

      1. The falafels tasted OK, but were somewhat dry. Pita was sturdy and didn't bust open with all the fillings and salad toppings. The pre-made Arnold Palmer was really watered down.

        There's another new falafel place Fa-La-La around the corner on Durant near the Asian Ghetto. Haven't tried that one yet.
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/772219

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        Fa-La-La
        2518 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

        1. Tried a falafel salad plate for lunch today. I liked the falafels a lot. They're smaller than most so crunchier and really nicely seasoned. Everything I tried from the salad bar was too bland, I much prefer Holy Land's 7-salad plate.

          21 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I think that the crunchiness factor is due to the fact that they are made to order, unlike Sunrise and most falafel joints I have been to.

            Aside from the beets and roasted cauliflower, I don't care for the other topping, but am very happy every week with the two things I do like.

            1. re: chocolatetartguy

              Sunrise has always made mine to order. If they tried to sell me cold ones I'd refuse.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Sunrise in Berkeley was my go-to spot before Maoz. I went once a week and they never made mine to order, although occasionally I did get lucky and arrive when the falafal had just been made.

                1. re: chocolatetartguy

                  Do you mean cooked to order? If so, mine always are. I've always gone in the evening though. Maybe lunch is different.

                  1. re: Glencora

                    Yes, cooked to order and always at lunch time. I was a regular and the woman who ran the place knew me by sight. It never occurred to me to that it was an option to ask for them to be cooked to order, but then I was always in a hurry.

                    However, that is not the reason I now go to Maoz. I really like the beets and cauliflower on the salad bar.

                    1. re: chocolatetartguy

                      Do you add some of the sauces? They seemed underdressed to me.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        I like the cilantro sauce. I found the hot sauce to be hotter than I like with falafal. Haven't tried the others as I am happy with my beet, cauliflower, cilantro sauce setup. The cauliflower is sometimes roastier and saltier which is my preference. The peppers were good. Nothing else has caught my fancy. The vegan rice pudding might be good.

                        The people who work there are very friendly and, although not a huge priority for me, I like the fact that they set everything up so that almost everything except for the plastic utensils are compostable.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Being as Green as I am (not), I only get the sandwich. The drink cups aren't either I think.

                            1. re: chocolatetartguy

                              They're not making a very high percentage of their trash compostable compared with, say, Vik's.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                Right. It's not like you have to go upscale or high tech to go biodegradable, just use paper. But even more relevant to the topic I vastly prefer the overall experience around the corner at Fa La La. I've found Maiz pitas to be really dry and the salad bar to be much appreciated that it is there and has a lot of variety, but nothing has wowed me as the grilled eggplant topping at Fa La La does. Plus, I find it friendlier environmentally and personally, I've enjoyed their fries, and even their day-old pitas for sale (6/$2?) are better than those I've had at Maoz

                                1. re: ...tm...

                                  I don't know what happened on my last visit to Fa La La, but the pita was thin and dry. Like they ran out and borrowed some from D'yar across the street. It had no resemblance to their regular pita and even the bags of day olds by the register would have been better.

                                  Still, across my ~6 visits, I prefer them to Maoz.

              2. re: chocolatetartguy

                Last time I was at Sunrise the falafels were fried to order. I don't know if they just ran out of a batch of pre-fried and I can't remember prior visits. They were crunchy and moister inside than Maoz.

                I know Chick-o-pea's, Amba (Montclair), and Turquoise (Orinda) all fry to order as well.

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                Turquoise Mediterranean Grill
                70 Moraga Way, Orinda, CA 94563

                Chick-O-Pea's
                1926 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

                Amba
                6464 Moraga Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

              3. re: Robert Lauriston

                When my wife and I first tried Maoz a couple months ago, we agreed it was some of the best fast food we've had. While I wouldn't go out of my way to eat any of the items in the salad bar on their own, I REALLY like that it's there -- and how when you eat in you can keep going back to top off your wrap with a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

                Too bad it's a pain in the butt to drive over there now that school's in session...

                1. re: abstractpoet

                  our only experience of Maoz was in their London (Soho) incarnation, where places for decently prepared, fresh, inexpensive veggies are definitely not common place, especially in late winter when we were there. with the freshly squeezed juice they served we were well restored to trek through the cold. what impressed us was how clean everything was kept for a serve-yourself set up, and how often the bar was restocked with freshly prepped items. for healthy, fast, all you can eat food, what's not to like ?

                  1. re: moto

                    Salad bars are ubiquitous around here. It's not all you can eat, just all you can stuff in a pita. You can' t refill the salad bowl.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      eat your pita fillings with a fork and go for refills ;-)

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        The Jr. Maoz is always more than enough for me, but with the full-sized one you can revisit the salad bar as often as you like. I was under the impression that the salad bowl was the same, although I have never ordered it.

                        I think it is a tremendous value and one of the few places you can have a decent lunch for 5 bucks.

                        1. re: chocolatetartguy

                          The menu says one time only for the bowl and the guy told me that as well.

                          1. re: chocolatetartguy

                            Robert is right. Salad bowl / box is fill once only.

                            I thought the Jr was unlimited toppings too. Is it also one trip to the salad bar?

                            1. re: drewskiSF

                              No, the Jr is a one trip pony. The large sandwich was at one time all you can eat on the salad bar. I found that I felt bloated after that, but then I take "all you can eat" literally.

                              Sorry, I don't seem to know the menu that well. I order the Jr. without fail every week. You can stack up the stuff on top fairly high. I get more than enough cauliflower and beets in one trip.

                  2. What do other people think about their fries? I had some yesterday, and they weren't as crispy as I'd expect from Belgian Fries. They tasted somewhat like tater tots.