Monday, March 1, 2010

The gateway food for vegetarians (Or... I can't find my mama at Mama Noura’s)

I have identified as a vegetarian for more than half my life. One of the first “vegetarian” foods I remember being told about was falafel. This is the perfect gateway food as it is fried, flavorful, and very cheap. In NYC, there are so many falafel spots to choose from – from restaurants to street carts. I have tried falafel at two different places since my arrival here in the Kingdom. The Mama Noura Juice Center is truly a special place (see link also under “Recently Dined At”). While I have never been inside as it is for males only, I have eaten their falafel plate and falafel sandwich. The plate is pretty much a deconstructed sandwich that includes more pickled items, including pickled hot peppers. They also serve wonderful fresh juices and make blends upon request. I have had the half-blackberry, half-strawberry blend as well as the straight up pomegranate. From what I can see through the window, they also have raisin, banana with milk, and mango. Mama Noura also serves shwarma and other meaty treats for those who are interested. At the compound restaurant, they also serve falafel. To my surprise, it is only served for breakfast. So, what’s a hungry girl to do? Although a bit weary at first, I am completely sold on falafel sandwich for breakfast. It is less than $1USD (cheaper than the date twist and croissants at my coffee shop) and more nutritious – packed with veggies and protein. For 5SR (just over $1USD) you can get a “mixed” falafel sandwich, which includes egg and various salads (like tabbouleh and baba ghanooj). I am hungry for breakfast, but not that hungry.

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