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  • j

I'd go out of my way for a good one.
Your thoughts?

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  1. Shawarma King, on Univ. Way and ..... NE 50th(?) or thereabouts.

    1 Reply
    1. There's a place next to Pan Africa by Pike Place - I think it's also owned by the same people who own Shawarma King on the Ave. Are they still any good? There's Aladdin on the Ave also - not as good as Shawarma King but it's got its fans.

      On the eastside, Garlic Crush and Med Kitchen in Bellevue/Kirkland. Also Gyros 2 Go in the strip mall next to Value Village in Redmond.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HungWeiLo

        I'm not a huge fan of Garlic Crush's falafel (love the gyros and meat plate though)

        I'll mention a couple more on the Ave that are worth consideration. Samir's on 43rd (or so) and the Gyro-cery just another block or two down University Way .

      2. the excellent falafel joint that used to be in the macy's garage has moved to pine street between 1st and 2nd avenues - try to convince them to make their wonderful rosewater lemonade. it has been my observation that falafel king (next to the crumpet shoppe) opens many boxes from sysco...

        1. Santorini Greek Grill in Kirkland. Their Falafel is terrific as are their gyros.

          2 Replies
          1. re: firecracker

            Had the falafel here the other day, was dry and tasted like it was defrosted. Gyyros are still good

            1. re: HymanRoth

              Totally agree on the not-so-great falafel. Plus, the gyro tasted funky too.

          2. Hallavafalafel Food Truck in Georgetown.

            1 Reply
            1. re: libstewart

              This is going to sound weird but............

              Matt's in the Market has a FANTASTIC Falafel in their menu right now.

              Seriously, I have had it 3 times already, very good

            2. Cafe Mawadda, in Columbia City, at 4433 S Graham St (S 46th Ave & S Rainier Ave), has a nice falafel. Not at all the green paste some are, but nearly fluffy and quite good. We'd be there often, but we live in the North end and only rarely get to deepest Rainier.

              7 Replies
              1. re: mrnelso

                Second this. Mawadda's owner takes great pride in his falafel and he proclaims them best citywide. They are larger than most others, and some may prefer to mash them before eating.

                Re: Matt's--I recall they served a dish with fava bean falafel as a component that was superb.

                1. re: mrnelso

                  Third this... Mawadda has outstanding ME fare. In addition to outstanding falafel, he also has great shwarma and kufta, and thoroughly addictive sweets (baklava and a shredded stuffed philo dough).

                  1. re: Booklegger451

                    I've only had falafel at their West Seattle location, but I was deeply disappointed - they had clearly sat around and were not hot or fluffy.

                    Other stuff there is great though - especially, and unexpectedly, their chai.

                    1. re: terrier

                      I had the same experience at the W. Seattle Mawadda. I think the quality of falafel there just isn't up to the south end one.

                      1. re: terrier

                        I wasn't even aware there WAS a west Seattle instance. The south-end location is consistently great.

                        1. re: Booklegger451

                          I have not visited the W. Seattle locale, but have heard reports of relative dissapointment compared to the Graham St. location. I have never had un-fresh falafel in the south end.

                          This is pure speculation, but perhaps the owner himself maybe the only person with a solid handle on QC, just based on some interactions I have seen with him and staff before. If he is shuttling between locations or absent from W. Seattle, it could explain the reported issues there.

                          1. re: equinoise

                            My understanding was the most of the running of the W. Seattle spot was by a brother? or similar. But yes, the original guy must be the key to quality...

                  2. Of these recommendations, which have the nearly-salad-bar-sized variety of pickly, garlicky, and saucy accoutrements that I miss so much from Amsterdam Falafel and real kosher places back in DC?

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: sweetpotater

                      Halava comes closest, just be sure to specify exactly what you want on yours (I take pickles, harissa, and tahini) lest you end up with their default gloppy mess.

                      Also, every place in town here serves falafel that have been out of the fryer for more than 60 seconds - in most cases, they sit in a steam table for minutes or hours. This is a cardinal sin!

                      I really wish someone would open a Maoz franchise here. I imagine it'd do really well in Capitol Hill.

                      1. re: terrier

                        OMG I love Maoz. I vote for Queen Anne :)

                      2. re: sweetpotater

                        I've never seen that salad bar type thing anywhere but Amsterdam in DC--nowhere in NYC or LA, and not even really at the famous places in Paris (though they do generally offer a good variety of toppings). I'd love it if we had a place like that here minus the awful attitude and ridiculous no plate rules.

                        The new Lebanese place, Cafe Munir, is supposed to have good falafel, though the time I went for dinner it wasn't on the menu that day. They have a lot of interesting dishes you don't see in Seattle so I bet they do authenitc falafel (not sure if that means tons of toppings, though).

                        1. re: christy319

                          They have it at Max's Kosher in Wheaton, Md., and at the Maoz chain. Also this other place in DC, not far from Amsterdam, though they put the stuff on from the other side.

                        2. re: sweetpotater

                          The closest I have found to the Israeli style falafel with the pickles/salad is http://www.twochef.com/Falafelking.html at the fremont sunday market. They even have Skhug.

                          1. re: kaplaba

                            Skhug - you said the magic word. I'm there.

                            1. re: terrier

                              Second (clearly I'm late to the game on this). And thankfully tomorrow is Sunday. Will try out and report.
                              I have been in search of good falafel on the west coast and have had a hard time finding anything remotely approaching east coast, european or Israeli standards.

                        3. Hard to know what you want, and what you mean. Israeli felafel is a little different from Arabic falafal, and there are various recipes including how much fava bean and how much chickpea to include. (The ones talking about green falafal mean those with fava beans)
                          I can recommend the Omani cafe just south of 85th and Greenwood because there, the falafal comes straight out of the fryer. Which isn't hard to do: a restaurant should store the batter, and fry it up to order. Falafal loses it's flavor within seconds after being fried.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: PeteSeattle

                            tried to google Omani Cafe in Seattle and nothing came up.

                            1. re: JayDK

                              85th and Greenwood. One half a block south on Greenwood on the West side of Greenwood. They're still there, still in business. Drove by it last night.

                                1. re: Brunhilde

                                  Correct. Mr. Gyros is an Omani-owned, Omani-staffed, and Omani-decorated facility. The posters on the wall are Omani. (I had forgotten the name)

                          2. Any new news on falafel in Seattle?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JayDK

                              I've really been enjoying the Egyptian-style falafel at a small mom and pop place at the corner of 85th and Greenwood (aka Little Middle East) called Hummus Cafe.