Tuesday, February 23, 2010

If you're only gonna do one thing, do it well

I really thought I knew every vegetarian restaurant in Brussels - at the very least, I thought I'd heard of them all. Then a few nights ago, a friend and I were looking for a dinner that wouldn't break the bank, and sure enough, there was Mr. Falafel.

Despite the plethora of shwarma snackbars in Brussels, I haven't ever found one that served exceptional falafel. It's rarely terrible, but it also seems like a bit of an afterthought.

Mr. Falafel is a tiny snackbar that looks like any other snackbar in town: a small counter, a fridge with drinks, and three high tables. Except for the word "Vegetarian" plastered in large lettering across the front window, there is little, at first glance, that sets it apart.

Once inside, however, you may notice that there is also no menu. That is because Mr. Falafel does one thing and one thing only: falafel. The only question is how many falafel sandwiches you want. They are on the small side - one makes for a light meal; take two (or more) if you're famished. Each sandwich will run you 3.50 Euro.

The falafel balls are small and crispy, with a good mix of herbs and spices, and they cook up in no time at all. They are served up in a pita with room to spare, for good reason: Mr. Falafel is all about the garnish. A bar of two dozen salads takes up a substantial part of this small establishment. I go for hot pickled peppers, cabbage, mixed tomato-and-red-onion salad, and a drop of the hot sauce, which is indeed quite hot. You'll also find a whole slew of other vegetables and sauces to personalize your sandwich.

The owner is from Holland - he doesn't speak French but English or Dutch are fine. He's also very friendly. According to him, when he lived in Egypt, he ate falafel all the time and just likes the stuff; he's not actually vegetarian himself. He opened this place in late 2008, and boy, am I glad. Pay him a visit.

Mr. Falafel
Boulevard Lemonnier 53 (Metro: Annessens)
Brussels 1000
Open noon to midnight, 7 days a week

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

pleasure to find such a good artical! please keep update!! ........................................