The falafel sandwich from Falafel King came with cucumbers, tomatoes, tahini and hummus, all of my favorite toppings. This sandwich reigned supreme, receiving a 5/5 star rating because of its superior falafel flavor and tahini sauce.

Noah Orloff

Falafel restaurants impress, disappoint

Falafel King reigns supreme

October 9, 2018

Falafel is a fried Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dish that is typically put inside a pita. A traditional falafel ball is made out of chickpeas. The sandwich can be ordered with varying topping options, tahini and hummus being my go-tos. Tahini is a sauce made from ground sesame seeds and hummus is a spread made from ground chickpeas. A good falafel sandwich can go a long way, but a poorly crafted meal can leave a customer disappointed and angry. Here are five falafel restaurants to consider the next time you’re craving a fried treat.

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Falafel King

The+falafel+sandwich+from+Falafel+King+came+with+cucumbers%2C+tomatoes%2C+tahini+and+hummus%2C+all+of+my+favorite+toppings.+This+sandwich+reigned+supreme%2C+receiving+a+5%2F5+star+rating+because+of+its+superior+falafel+flavor+and+tahini+sauce.+
The falafel sandwich from Falafel King came with cucumbers, tomatoes, tahini and hummus, all of my favorite toppings. This sandwich reigned supreme, receiving a 5/5 star rating because of its superior falafel flavor and tahini sauce.

The falafel sandwich from Falafel King came with cucumbers, tomatoes, tahini and hummus, all of my favorite toppings. This sandwich reigned supreme, receiving a 5/5 star rating because of its superior falafel flavor and tahini sauce.

Noah Orloff

Noah Orloff

The falafel sandwich from Falafel King came with cucumbers, tomatoes, tahini and hummus, all of my favorite toppings. This sandwich reigned supreme, receiving a 5/5 star rating because of its superior falafel flavor and tahini sauce.

Location

3238 W Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55416

Price

$6.99

Food

The pita at Falafel King was nice and warm. It offered a hard outside that led to a softer inside. The large falafel had a crunch all the way through every bite, which was served with tomatoes and cucumber. The full rich flavor of the falafel was flowing with oil, a good sign that it had been recently fried. Also the mild tahini gave a pleasant addition to the taste of the falafel balls. The thin sauce dispersed throughout the pocket of the pita just the way I like it. The sandwich was paired nicely with a delicious textured hummus. Everything about the sandwich at Falafel King was positive. The falafel’s outstanding flavor left me in awe, making a great culinary experience that truly displayed their royalty.

5/5

 

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Ariana Kabob & Gyro Bistro

The+falafel+sandwich+at+Ariana+Kabob+%26+Gyro+Bistro+was+enclosed+in+a+full+pita%2C+as+opposed+to+being+placed+in+a+pita+pocket.+The+moderately+priced+sandwich%2C+at+%248%2C+overall+received+4%2F5+stars+for+its+exceptional+taste.++
The falafel sandwich at Ariana Kabob & Gyro Bistro was enclosed in a full pita, as opposed to being placed in a pita pocket. The moderately priced sandwich, at $8, overall received 4/5 stars for its exceptional taste.

The falafel sandwich at Ariana Kabob & Gyro Bistro was enclosed in a full pita, as opposed to being placed in a pita pocket. The moderately priced sandwich, at $8, overall received 4/5 stars for its exceptional taste.

Noah Orloff

Noah Orloff

The falafel sandwich at Ariana Kabob & Gyro Bistro was enclosed in a full pita, as opposed to being placed in a pita pocket. The moderately priced sandwich, at $8, overall received 4/5 stars for its exceptional taste.

Location

7115 Cedar Lake Rd., St. Louis Park, MN 55426

Price

$8

Food

The falafel at Ariana Kabob & Gyro Bistro did not offer a pita pocket, but instead a whole piece of pita wrapped around the falafel, which I preferred. The falafel was warm and broke apart, exactly the way it should. It had a nice outer shell and was not too hard to bite through. The falafel itself was everything I wanted. The sandwich did not have hummus, but did have a generous amount of tahini. The tahini sauce was a thick, slightly strong sauce with a hint of lemon. Once again, I was left with a falafel that had few flaws. The tahini was the only area that kept the sandwich from perfection.

4/5

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Foxy Falafel

Named+Foxy+Falafel+on+the+menu%2C+this+traditional+falafel+came+with+tahini+sauce+and+french+fries.+The+falafel+sandwich+was+given+a+3%2F5+rating+for+its+interesting+spice+blend+and+tasty+tahini+sauce.
Named Foxy Falafel on the menu, this traditional falafel came with tahini sauce and french fries. The falafel sandwich was given a 3/5 rating for its interesting spice blend and tasty tahini sauce.

Named Foxy Falafel on the menu, this traditional falafel came with tahini sauce and french fries. The falafel sandwich was given a 3/5 rating for its interesting spice blend and tasty tahini sauce.

Noah Orloff

Noah Orloff

Named Foxy Falafel on the menu, this traditional falafel came with tahini sauce and french fries. The falafel sandwich was given a 3/5 rating for its interesting spice blend and tasty tahini sauce.

Location

791 Raymond Ave., St. Paul, MN 55114

Price

$9

Food

Foxy Falafel offered a pita that was thin and dry, making it not my favorite sandwich. I ordered the Foxy Falafel dish, which is described as traditional falafel on their menu. The Foxy Falafel was the most inclusive option because it is gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian. The falafel balls’ interior contained few larger chunks of chickpeas, which had not been present in the other falafels, making it harder to eat. The tahini at Foxy Falafel was unique in both flavor and presentation. The tahini was green from the addition of herbs, which looked and tasted great when poured on the falafel. It had an enjoyable mild sesame flavor in addition to the hummus. Overall, I felt like the pita and falafel fell short at Foxy Falafel.

3/5

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Naf Naf Grill

While+this+falafel+from+Naf+Naf+Grill++had+a+nice+crunch+to+the+exterior+of+the+falafel+balls%2C+the+tahini+had+a+bitter+after+taste.+These+factors+led+to+a+3%2F5+star+ranking+for+Naf+Naf+Grill%27s+falafel+sandwich.+
While this falafel from Naf Naf Grill  had a nice crunch to the exterior of the falafel balls, the tahini had a bitter after taste. These factors led to a 3/5 star ranking for Naf Naf Grill's falafel sandwich.

While this falafel from Naf Naf Grill had a nice crunch to the exterior of the falafel balls, the tahini had a bitter after taste. These factors led to a 3/5 star ranking for Naf Naf Grill's falafel sandwich.

Noah Orloff

Noah Orloff

While this falafel from Naf Naf Grill had a nice crunch to the exterior of the falafel balls, the tahini had a bitter after taste. These factors led to a 3/5 star ranking for Naf Naf Grill's falafel sandwich.

Location

12725 Elm Creek Blvd. N., Maple Grove, MN 55369

Price

$6.75

Food

Naf Naf Grill offered a pita that was soft and fluffy, with an outside covered in flour. The falafel had a nice pocket, but the tahini quickly leaked out of the bottom. The falafel balls had a very crunchy and crispy outside, which contrasted the falafel’s soft interior nicely. However, the spices used in the falafel balls left an unpleasant aftertaste. The tahini was very strong, providing a slightly bitter taste and its potency overpowered the hummus. The strength of the sauce led me to appreciate the sandwich less. Overall, the sandwich was exceptional, but the tahini and the unusual spice variation of the falafel led to a two star deduction.

3/5

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Roti Modern Mediterranean

The+recently+opened+St.+Louis+Park+Roti+Modern+Mediterranean+offered+a+smokey+hummus%2C+which+overpowered+their+tahini.+Their+falafel+sandwich+had+the+lowest+score+out+of+the+five+restaurants%2C+being+rated+2%2F5+stars.+
The recently opened St. Louis Park Roti Modern Mediterranean offered a smokey hummus, which overpowered their tahini. Their falafel sandwich had the lowest score out of the five restaurants, being rated 2/5 stars.

The recently opened St. Louis Park Roti Modern Mediterranean offered a smokey hummus, which overpowered their tahini. Their falafel sandwich had the lowest score out of the five restaurants, being rated 2/5 stars.

Noah Orloff

Noah Orloff

The recently opened St. Louis Park Roti Modern Mediterranean offered a smokey hummus, which overpowered their tahini. Their falafel sandwich had the lowest score out of the five restaurants, being rated 2/5 stars.

Location

1620 Park Place Blvd., St. Louis Park, MN 55416

Price

$8

Food

I was not a big fan of the pita at the recently opened St. Louis Park location. The falafel was mushy, and the external portion of the falafel lacked a nice crunch. It seemed like it had been fried hours ago and did not meet my expectations. Despite the shortcomings of the falafel, the hummus was delicious. Smokiness was identifiable but the surplus of hummus put in the sandwich made it hard to taste the tahini. Other than the hummus, all elements of the food I ate at Roti were mediocre at best. Hopefully the local Roti will improve their falafel.

2/5

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