Best Falafel - 2012
Fadia's Bakery & Deli
Falafel has gotten a bad reputation thanks to the many Middle Eastern restaurants that fry pre-made fritters of pre-mixed batches of chickpea dough long before a customer places an order. Not Charbel Hamad. The owner and operator of Fadia Bakery wants you to focus on his handmade sweets, but it's hard to listen to him with falafel as good as his. It starts with a recipe Hamad got from his brother. He soaks dried chickpeas overnight and then runs them through a meat grinder before folding minced cilantro, parsley, onion, jalapeño and garlic into the mix. Baking soda and a blend of spices, however, don't get added until just before you place your order. Hamad claims his process is the secret to his falafels' texture, but whatever the cause, the results are a fluffy, savory package encased in an impossibly crunchy exterior. Order the falafel sandwich and no more than one side. Hamad is right when he says the sweets are worth saving room for.