|Rue des Rosiers on a busy Sunday afternoon.|
Ground zero for Parisian falafel.
|Chez Hanna - After I bought a falafel here, a small |
group of curious tourists gathered.
That’s changed over the years and Hanna has lost its mojo. There’s really no discernible difference when looking at their sandwich now, but one taste tells you they just don’t have IT anymore. It’s sad because you can now walk right up to their window and there’re no lines, even at the busiest times of the day. They’ll eagerly serve you when back in their heyday, they copped a haughty attitude, seemingly doing you a favor to serve you. Probably added to the mystique.
|L'As du Fallafel - Reigning Supreme|
Right across the street from L'As du’ is mi-va-mi, the self-proclaimed “Best Of The Street.” They’re my slight favorite over L'A du’ and, judging from the lines there (not quite as long as L'As du’), rank as 2nd favorite of the falafel crowds. Their actual falafel is formed slightly smaller than their competitors and has a spicy and slightly more ‘middle-eastern’ flavor to it.
|mi-va-mi Falafel - Superbe!|
My taste testing on that day involved first getting a sandwich at L'As du’, then going 20 feet to the other side of the street to get an identical one at mi-va-mi. It was the slow time of the day and neither restaurant had a line at that point. When the preparer at mi-va-mi saw me coming straight over from his competitor L'As du’, he commented to the effect that I must be performing a comparison and he seemed to take it as a challenge. A falafel sandwich can normally be thrown together in under 30 seconds, but he was intent on tweaking the preparation and spent nearly 3 minutes carefully layering the ingredients. I was becoming impatient and slightly suspicious at this point. However, when I later tasted this falafel, it was probably the best I’d ever eaten. Tiff had some and agreed. In falafel gastronomy, I suppose it can now only go downhill from there.
There are several other notable sources for falafel on the street. There’s King Falafel Palace - strictly entry level falafel. There’s also Chez Marianne, which is more a sit-down, family oriented place that’s often open on certain Sundays when the other restaurants are closed.
|mi-va-mi - accepting the falafel challenge |
with competitor L'As du.