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Jul 14, 2011 09:47 AM

Tasty, Quickie Lunch: Mama's Vegetarian, 18 S. 20th St;

Took my grandson for a Kosher Dairy Lunch. Got there there at 11:40am today. Place opened at 11, but was starting to get crowded. By 11:55am every seat in the small place was full.

Here's what I had for lunch: falafel sandwich on whole wheat pita, laden with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, huumus. Declined hot sauce. $5. Can of soda: $1. Homemade apple cake for

grandson: $3. They had a lot of other interesting stuff like eggplant, baklava: next time.

Everything yummy. A lot of fun, but a busy hectic place. They have to be doing a lot right.

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  1. Mama's is great, it's excellent Israeli-style falafel and there is a reason it's so popular. No crazy fusion falafels here, just authentic items you'd find at a typical place in Tel Aviv.

    The falafel is great, but definitely try the eggplant sandwich (you can ask them to stuff a couple falafels in, too), the "latke" which is really a veggie patty, and the sabich--eggplant with hard boiled egg, something not always available in the US.

    They also usually have some special additions they don't put in the sandwich by default and you have to ask for--eggplant spread, mango hot sauce (not that spicy), saurkraut, and sometimes tuna salad. These are on the far right side of the counter.

    Don't forget the pickle bar, where you can also get extra tahini and the spicier green hot sauce. And while it's technically a kosher dairy restaurant (no meat), it's mostly vegan. The only exceptions to my knowledge are the hard boiled eggs, the borekas and maybe the tuna salad.