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Friday, September 6, 2013

The Longest Lunch Line in Paris

                                                  A worth waiting for luncheon experience

I’m a type A personality---obsessed with time.  So, when I head out for a meal knowing that there’s going to be a long wait in line you know that it’s gotta be terrific food.  To top it off, this place isn’t even French---which is another cardinal rule that I break (typically, I always eat the local cuisine).  So what is this place that compels me to visit each time I’m in Paris and break so many of my tenets?


You can’t call it a restaurant, a bistro or even a café…how do you say “dive” in French?   The place is called L'As du Falafel, a falafel joint in the hip Marais district not far from the Place de Vosges.  (In case you don’t know what a falafel is, think of it as a Mediterranean meatball made from garbanzo beans and herbs).   For me, a falafel is one of the yummiest foods  invented and this version is nirvana.  Served at  L'As du Falafel as a Mediterranean sandwich,  it comes in pita bread topped with thinly sliced cabbage, diced cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, grilled eggplant, a tahini-based sauce, as well as an optional hot sauce.  Order “the works” from the take-out window, then wait for your name or number to be called.  For <$10 you’ll have a mouth-watering, ooey-gooey meal that you’ll never forget.

 

If you can’t stomach the thought of a line eating into your precious time in Paris, or  the idea of eating a messy sandwich on the street with 20 others doing the same thing, then you might want to consider L'As du Falafel’s inside tables where you can order a full array of Middle Eastern dishes from a waiter.  I did it once, but it wasn’t the same rite of passage as the take-out window experience.  Furthermore, it’s more expensive and the one time I did not it took almost as much time to get my food as the long line outside.

 

There are several falafel places on this tiny pedestrian street which is located deep in the heart of the City of Light’s Jewish district.  L'As du Falafel, however, stands head and shoulders above the rest in my opinion.  While it’s tempting to try the others as they have no line, something always seems to be missing. 


David Lebovitz, Paris’ most famous food blogger, listed L'As du Falafel in his post titled 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn't Miss in Paris.  In fact, it’s his #2 recommended spot.   That was three years ago so I’m sure that the lines of foodies has expanded exponentially since then.   I just arrived in Paris and the apartment we’ve rented is only a few blocks away…. I’m heading over early to hopefully avoid the longest lines.

 

L'As du Falafel

34 rue de Rossier

(just look for the line…but never go on a Saturday as they’re closed)

Metro:  St Paul

 

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