If you’re ever in Paris and someone steers you away from a crepe and toward a falafel sandwich, follow them. They’re onto something.
If you’re passing Notre Dame, trying desperately to snap a photograph of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, and thinking to yourself that Parisian men and women look dangerously alike…just trot on. The falafel is waiting.
If Rick Steves himself tries to coerce you into a free five hour tour of the Louvre with a five course meal to follow, tell him you’ve got plans and make your merry way to that falafel shop. The one that seems musty and gravely out of place in the Latin Quarter. I don’t remember the name, but it’s the one that makes you wonder if Back to the Future was more documentary than it let on.
Once you get your falafel sandwich, and you’re standing on a street corner just about to eat it, here’s what you’ll see and smell: a paper-wrapped flatbread- hot and slightly charred. Cumin rushing to your nose first, then a bright whiff of parsley. The open end of the rolled dough will reveal crusty brown patties, slightly glazed from the fryer. Flecks of green, red, and honey colored grain in the form of tabbouleh. The tastes upon biting: Crispy yet crumbly falafel, richly spiced yet balanced with notes of fresh parsley and lemon. The flatbread perfectly buttered and doughy. The tahini sauce, creamy and cool, the ultimate compliment.
And if you never make it to Paris for a Middle Eastern meal, call me. I’ll make you a falafel burger and we’ll talk about my favorite things.
Click the image below for the recipe!