Friday, March 11, 2011

Falafel Revolution

To all the Hungry Pakipina fans out there, I am sorry if I have let you down with my lack of postings. I’ve had my share of Arab and non-Arab foods these past few months.  More restaurant reviews are to come, along with my first attempt at bitter melon and a demonstration on making the perfect aloo paratha.

Today, on March 11, 2011, I write to you with an important update. As you already know from previous posts, some eating establishments do not allow women to enter.  This usually includes falafel and shwarma spots, including one of my favorites, Mama Noura.  To my delight, the other day I was allowed entry into the shiny, chromed, famed establishment.    

Ok, let’s back up a minute.  Several weeks ago, The Bronx Falcon noticed two niquabed (fully veiled) women ordering inside. Plus, when we went to another favorite falafel spot, Abu Jabara, we also saw a woman inside.  Is this some type of falafel revolution inspired by recent events in the Middle East? I decided to roll the dice and press my luck. Not only did I venture inside, but I did so without a male guardian.  I was not greeted at the door and not asked to order from the outside as previously experienced.  Being allowed entry I walked right up to the register and placed my order (one falafel sandwich, and two juices – one for myself and one for the fellow driving me about).  After shelling out 10 riyals (the equivalent of $2.66 USD), I took my receipt to the juice counter.  I received one small fresh orange juice (for the driver) and one small orange juice and pomegranate cocktail for myself.  After receiving my juices, I made my way to the falafel station.  I wish you could all see the way the falafel assembler works – he first grabs 3 falafel balls and places them inside thin khubz.  He then squishes the bread so the falafel gets mashed up a bit.  Then come the tomatoes, which he slices at an alarming rate while holding the tomato in the air.  Afterwards, comes hot sauce (optional for some), pickles, tahini, and pickled hot peppers (now, are those really optional?)