A”Maoz”ing Falafel

This is a story of a hungry girl and the day she met the falafel of her dreams.

This self-serve falafel bar is located in what used to be Moolicious, a cereal bar and possibly the worst business venture ever. I would've preferred a more decorative interior that conveyed "healthy comfort food" rather than "Asian frozen dessert".

To start at the beginning we have to go deep in history, to 2009, when news spread that Maoz Vegetarian would be opening a franchise in her neighborhood. And this European chain wasn’t any old floozy – there are only a handful in America, all on the East Coast. Its introduction to California one month ago was a very special day indeed, and it just so happened to be one block away from UCB campus!

If you pay with card you can interact with this fancy screen in front of the cash register. Like I said, the sleek chrome and minimal decor doesn't really rev up my appetite, but I forgive them because 1. they are European 2. they play clubby European music 3. exploding falafel

4. Their unlimited salad bar is pristine, well-stocked, diverse, 90% vegan. 100% SEXY. Most notable were their roasted broccoli/cauliflower, marinated chickpeas, fennel salad, herbed carrots, and CILANTRO SAUCE.

C chose a meal deal with falafel, fresh juice, and sweet potato fries (~8). I tried both these and J's of the Belgian variety, and both were great. Not a single soggy fry. I suppose these look a little burnt but carcinogens are also known as tasty.

My Junior falafel (4.5) came with a small bed of lettuce and four flavorful patties of chickpea and parsley - crispy outside, tender inside, it held its own against the 'lafels at my former fave place, Bongo Burger. You best believe I went back to the salad bar twice to refill my pita (which was the thick fluffy kind instead of the dry ones with a layer of air in the middle!). Amazingly, none of the toppings were over-salted which meant they were delicious on their own instead of as a condiment.

I will probably never try this, but it makes for good conversation.

The story ends in satisfied tummies and a vow of loyalty. I am thinking about my limited time in Berkeley and already beginning to miss this place.  I want to share it with the world. Hit me up if interested, ’cause I’m ready for a repeat.

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