When the people behind D.C.-based Amsterdam Falafelshop announced they planned to open a Somerville restaurant, the food-
osphere did a collective dance of joy. What’s the big deal about yet another place serving the chickpea-fritter sandwiches? Anyone who has been to the shop in Washington knows.
First, there is the falafel itself, small rounds fried fresh, crisp outside, not gooey inside. And then there is the toppings bar, with 20 or so pickles, sauces, and salads from which to choose — from pickled beets, cucumbers with dill, and chickpea salad to spicy chili spreads, tahini, and baba ganoush. You get to go wild and choose your own; the best way to fit all the ingredients is to crush the falafel flat inside the pita. Less important, but worth mentioning, are the fries, which can be dipped in the likes of peanut sauce or curried ketchup.
Aside from toppings, there aren’t many choices to be made: whole wheat pita or white, or falafel served pita-free over salad? Small or large? Fries or no? Brownie for dessert? That’s about it. The place is small and cute, with red walls and limited seating. It’s a simple formula, but it works. A good falafel is hard to find.
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