L'As du Fallafel - Paris

34, rue de Rosiers (Marais district)
4th Arrondissement, Paris, France
(Closed Fridays at sundown)

I have to quote pastry chef David Lebovitz, who sums it all on his blog:
"...you can't come to Paris and not have a fallafel at L'As. It just isn't done."

When we first landed in Paris and dropped off our luggage, we walked over to the Marais district, home to the Parisian Jewish community, to the bustling Rue de Rosiers to get a fallafel at the highly raved L'As du Fallafel. After a 13 hour flight, I was starving and smelling the chickpea fritters while standing in line made my anxious mouth water.

The line to the ordering window was pretty long, but worth the wait. There were 2-3 employees out there - one handing you a ordering sheet and others to draw in more visitors.

Once at the walk-up window, tell them what to order ("Fallafel Special") and then they systematically, yet somehow with grace, stuff the warm pita bread with crunchy cabbage, grilled eggplant, hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, and the crisp fallafel. You can also add piquante (hot sauce) if you wish. Then they slather on top the sauce blanche, which is made from tahini or chickpea paste.

There is inside seating, but most people just eat in the middle of the street. It didn't matter though, seating or not, in people's way or not, because once I had my hands on the sandwich, I quickly took my first scrumptious bite. To my satisfaction, the fallafel was so delicious that I was salivating even before I took my next bite. I loved the balance of fried fallafel with the freshness of the tomatoes and crunchiness of the cabbage, along with the hummus and tahini together.