12/30/09

Lunch at Maoz with Twitter girls

Here's another post that is possible because of Twitter. It is through Twitter that I initially met Sylvie and Elyssa. Both are fun girls who have food blogs: what else do we need to have in common? :)

Yesterday the three of us ignored the cold and windy weather and met for lunch at a recently opened Maoz in Dupont/Farragut North area. It was Sylvie's and mine first time trying out Maoz, but Elyssa has eaten at this place multiple times and has been raving about their amazing garlic mayonnaise.

This is an all vegetarian restaurant focusing on falafel sandwiches. Falafel!? Falafel is made from chickpeas, formed into balls and fried. The first time I had falafel was during my first trip to Israel, about 10 years ago. There, they serve it in a pita, with hummus, tahini sauce, Israeli salad and topped with fries: HEAVEN!

The only falafel place I've been to in DC is Amsterdam Falafel in Adams Morgan: I love their food, but it's not the most convenient place for me to get to when I all of a sudden have a craving for falafel.

Long story short, I was excited to try the food in Maoz. The space was rather small, but with beautiful wood communal tables and benches (for some reason the length of the tables and benches did not match up!?), bright colors, and friendly staff.

And the food! The menu is pretty basic, but that lets them be good at what they make. Elyssa recommended a Junior Meal Deal, and I decided to get sweet potato fries for an additional $0.50 instead of regular fries.

What happens is you order, pay, and then you get either a white or wheat pita with falafel balls in it. It is up to you to fill your pita with whatever you wish: the choices are vast!

Tabbouleh and Israeli Salad

Marinated eggplant (the pink looking vegetables), chickpea salad, olives and pickles

Cilantro sauce, pickled cabbage, spicy chili sauce and fresh tomato salsa (Not pictured: sweet potatoes, beets, cauliflower/broccoli salad and coleslaw)

Then you can get ketchup, tahini, yogurt sauce or GARLIC MAYONNAISE to pour on top of your stuffed pita or to put into mini cups for your fries.



And here is my creation. Yes, I stuffed my pita pretty full :)



Thoughts: This is definitely a great place for a quick, relatively healthy, inexpensive and delicious lunch. I was surprised that hummus wasn't one of the toppings available on the salad bar, but other than that, the options were great. I was tempted to go back for more marinated eggplant (my favorite), but wasn't sure if that would be against the protocol.

I liked Sylvie's and Elyssa's regular fries better than my sweet potato fries. And Elyssa was right: the garlic mayonnaise is good enough to swim in: good thing I wasn't planning on kissing anyone afterwords.

Have you ever tried falafel? If so, what's your favorite way to eat it? What toppings are a must?

19 comments:

Heavenly Housewife said...

I love falafel, but I'm picky cause i've had such good ones. I've been to Maoz in barcelona. Its kind of like the Subway of falafel i thought. Falafel was good, but not awesome. But gosh, there were no sweet potato fries. Whats that about?

Thrifty DC Cook said...

When did you take pictures? Was I too busy stuffing my face that I didn't notice that you took pictures? Great lunch. Even with the fries, I felt like I made a healthy choice with all the veggies I piled into my pita. The garlic mayo is awesome. I also loved that they had a fresh juice option for an extra $1. The mixed carrot and apple juice was very refreshing.

BTW..I was so full from lunch that I wasn't even hungry for dinner. Talk about "filling" foods.

Zoe said...

My must topping for falafel is israeli salad, red cabbage salad, olives and fries!! YUM!

Shaw Girl said...

Wow, that looks amazing! I wish I was able to join you guys. But now I'm even more determined to make it to Maoz!

FrenchTwistDC said...

Looks delicious!

Rachel said...

I'm a big falafel fan (and lover of all things Israeli) and have been to maoz a few times.

My first rec would be for you to also check out Eli's Falafel and Schwarma stand, just up the street at 20th and N. Cash only, but a very authentic Israeli experience, and my favorite falafel balls by far.

When I go to maoz, I would like to get the Junior meal, as I only need about 3 falafel balls to be full, but the full meal includes the fried eggplant (AMAZING) and hummus. Be sure to check out the fried cauliflower- so tasty. Also, I get all of the dipping sauces on the side and go nuts with my fries.

Elyssa said...

This is my new favorite lunch spot. And I agree with Sylvie....I had a salad for dinner around 9pm because I was so full from lunch! Delicious...let's do it again soon.

Cindy said...

Drooling! Too bad my favorite topping (avocado) is extra! Looks awesome anyway.

Karena said...

I had no idea this place existed! It looks delicious!! Totally within walking distance from the office too...score! :)

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

Falafel is a must when I can but hummus isn't available so odd it should be present there.

Happy New Year 2010 Olga!

Cheers,

Gera

HoneyB said...

Falafal is one of my very favorite foods. The very first time I had it a professor from Jordan and his wife brought it to our holiday party. She then proceeded to invite me to their home to teach me how to make them! SO GOOD.

Junglefrog said...

That looks like a great lunch Olga! I have only had falafel once and well, it wasn't the best there is I think but I liked it enough to want to try it again!

Lauren said...

This sounds wonderful Olga! I wish you all the best in the new year =D.

Thas said...

It's definitely a healthy eat. I love falafel, I actually make at home and it comes out pretty good, recipe is on my website. I love it with tahini sauce or sometimes just the falafel. I see Belgian fries on the menu, I love that, they are much more crispier tan french fries. I actually dined in a French-Belgian restaurant for new year's eve, they got delicious food with wide variety of belgian beer:)
Have a wonderful 2010!

Anonymous said...

israeli salad? the people of the levant have been making that salad for centuries. stealers of land, stealers of cuisine and culture .. unbelievable.

anyway, as someone who grew up on falafel, the musts are cucumber and tomatoes, with either yogurt or tahini sauce. yum.

msdewberry said...

I have never had falafel before but the food in your pictures looks very fresh and delicious.
Sweet potato fries are the only thing I have tried.
Happy New Year!!

Sophie said...

The food looks great & ooh soo good!

MMMMM,..I also love falafel, but i don't like tahini with it, I like a mixed vegetable or spicy dip with it!

Bookgirl said...

Whenever I go to Moaz they always tell me I can refill my pita from the salad bar, so I always go back for more pickled eggplant and veggies. I'm pretty sure this is a practice at all locations.

dallas dwi lawyer said...

The fries cone looks great. Thanks for introducing a new lunch spot.