There are many falafel-ries in the Marais duking it out for the title of "best fried balls of ground chickpeas", but only one has been recommended by Lenny Kravitz. If you're anything like me and automatically ponder, "What would Lenny Kravitz do?" when hit with a falafel craving (don't lie; I know that's what you're thinking), you have to go to L'as du Fallafel.
Their special falafel pita sandwich is composed of cute falafels plops (cuteness is an automatic characteristic of small, round things), tangy sauce stuff (stuff like tahini, hummus and whatnot), chopped cabbage, cucumber chunks, and--my favorite part of all--fried eggplant nuggets, all smooshed together in a soft, thick and chewy pita bread pocket. It's a satisfying meal that even a carnivore can love.
But is it the best falafel I've ever had? Did Lenny Kravitz steer me wrong? Truthfully, it's not as good as my favorite falafel back home in NYC. It's one of the better ones I've had and the large, hearty, not-too-guilt-inducing sandwich is a good deal, but I can't praise this place up the wazoo like so many other people have already done since Taim has already given me a relevatory falafel-eating experience that has apparently ruined all subsequent falafel-eating experiences. Damn.
Even though I felt pretty stuffed from the falafel sandwich, there was no way I was going to go back home without dessert. Dinner without dessert is just wrong, wrong, wrong. With bellies full of chickpea mash, my friends and I went to the nearby gelateria Pozzetto because falafels and gelato go together like penguins and bunnies. And by that I mean they don't really go together, but I like both of them and they're not exactly opposites. They're beautiful in their own separate, delicious ways (fafalels and gelato, not bunnies and penguins).
Oh lordy, creamy flavorful non-artificially-colored-or-flavored goodness, take meee. I'm sure my face did some kind of happy smiley glowing thing when the silver bowl stuffed with slabs of pistachio, stracciatella, and hazelnut gelato accompanied by weenie pea-sized cookies—akin to French macarons made with hazelnut flour instead of almond flour—was placed in front of me. It's a natural human response, I think. Although the gelato of my dreams is a bit softer and airier than Pozzetto's, I'll happilly eat anything as long as it tastes awesome. This is pretty awesome. The flavors aren't uber-strong, but they taste real. It can be sadly difficult to find ice creamy substances that go a step beyond just being a sweet tasty product by incorporating real stuff. And I wish I could think of something more poetic than "real stuff", but you know what I mean. Also, I'm not poetic. More like apoetic.
While I can't remember the names of all the flavors we ordered, the standout flavor was easily cioccolate fondente. Or some other chocolate flavor. If you want to play it safe, you should just get a cup with every chocolate flavor. What do you know; problem solved! The one I'm talking about tastes like sweet chocolate ganache in gelato form and will make your brain go, [beeboop] "WHOA GIMME MORE." If you come across it, remind me what the flavor is actually called.
If you're lucky, you'll also get some crazy laughter from your friendly server to accompany your gelato chomp-age. Trust me; you'll know when you hear it.
L'as du Fallafel
34 Rue des Rosiers, 4th
Metro: Saint Paul (1)
An NYC food blogger, currently studying non-foodie things in Paris, Robyn of The Girl Who Ate Everything shares her discoveries with Parisist every Monday while she explores all the eats that Paris has to offer.