Falafel Arafe

Written by on March 17, 2012 in I Eat Haifa, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(No website found at time of publishing) – Akko Old City, Israel

How I heard of this place: My brother-in-law, Eric, introduced us to this joint when he took Chris and I on a tour of the Old City of Akka/Akko/Acre. I wanted Chris to have an authentic experience and taste of falafel and asked Eric to choose the spot that called to him the most. We walked past many touristy falafel and schwarma restaurants on the tour around the city and up and down the main street leading in from the Land Gate. After much research and thought, Eric determinedly pointed out ? Falafel. Why? For the fact that one young man was busily preparing and frying falafel at record speeds while the crowd inside waved money, shouted orders and snatched up their ready meals!

Type of cuisine: Falafel, pure and simple. Good. Great with all of the fixin’s (tahini, spicy sauce, pickled vegetables).

Ambiance: The type of space you woud first imagine for a delicious falafel: a small windowed storefront with one brightly colored, Coca-Cola bedecked sign above, teeming with local Arabs. It was perfect! One man frantically balling and frying the falafel balls to keep up with the demand of diners, everyone from children to women in well-covered attire, from young men in futbol/soccer jersies to women in business attire. White, tiled walls indicate the space reserved for diners, with so few options for seating that most stand in front of family and around the condiment table. Pale pink walls indicate the kitchen space, where two, young men quickly take orders, prepare stuffed pitas, collect money and joke with patrons and friends. The plexiglass display of toppings so well-used and scratched up, the toppings are a blur, but ask them for everything and you are not disappointed!

What I ordered: Two falafels (12 NIS each). I wish they were both for me, but, alas, I had to share with my husband, his first falafel in Israel. Toppings included pickled, red cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, and tahini. I added spicy pepeprs and spicy, red sauce to mine, from the condiment table.

What I loved: The fresh-made, hot, steaming falafel balls.

Why I loved it: I love that you need two hands to hold a small (-looking), stuffed-to-the-gills falafel sandwich! I love that the falafel balls are freshly prepared and steaming hot for the entire duration of enjoyment. I love that the pita is fresh and the mobility seamless. I love that the thin, single-ply, waxy napkins do nothing to prevent the drips of delicious juice going down your face or your arms.

Cost: Low to average (12 NIS per take-away falafel)

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