Friday, 2 December 2011

Vegetarian Falafel, Lower Marsh

For Friday lunch, I walk up and down the Lower Marsh market near Waterloo in search of a suitable outdoor dining experience. The aptly named vegetarian falafel stall catches my eye and it is to here I return. It’s the stall closest to the Old Vic and having never eaten here before my decision is reinforced by the people awaiting service from the two friendly gentlemen at the stall. I can only assume that some of these people are return custom from locals who work in the area.

On the menu is a falafel wrap. Simple, to the point, limited options. A medium or large size is on offer, the medium at £3, the large £4. My friend is losing patience with the queue and contemplates jumping into Greggs. Thankfully, common sense prevails and our friendship remains intact. The wrap is prepared, first spreading hummus over it. This is followed by a chilli paste and then a host of pickled vegetables and salad including tomatoes and roasted aubergine. Finally, the falafel is added to the mix before some yoghurt is drizzled on top and the package is wrapped.   

We head across to the near empty park to enjoy. The falafel is excellent. It has a green hue to it and the chick peas are tasty and well spiced. The falafel ratio to vegetable/pickles/hummus and chilli is well proportioned.  At £3 it is difficult to beat in terms of value. I have happy memories of falafel. My most enduring memory is enjoying it at a falafel stall by the East Gate just outside the entrance to the Old City in Jerusalem. It cost a dollar for a similar type wrap. Each time I have good falafel ever since, I think of that falafel stall outside the Old City. It is the best to be found in the Middle East, despite facing hefty competition from Syria and Lebanon. I to this day have conversations with friends with whom I was on that trip with. We returned each day to hand over our dollar for another wrap. Should you happen to end up in Jerusalem, do swing by. It’s been the bones of 7 years since I was there, but I imagine it still remains. I can’t think of anything that could have happened in the interim period in Jerusalem. It’s a quiet enough spot.
With happy recollections, it’s back to some form of attempted intellectual endeavour, heading indoors to warm up my freezing fingers.

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