Location: Somerville, MA
The Foodie Says: Cosi-Cosi
Anyone who has been to Amsterdam and ventured outside the famed red light district will tell you that there is much more to this beautiful city than x-rated window shopping…great food, a beautiful riverboat tour, one of the skinniest buildings in the world, and lots of Van Gogh (best enjoyed after a few space cakes).
Similarly, there is much more to the world of falafel than Amsterdam Falafel Shop – but for an area starved for good fried chickpeas it’s a start.
AFS is a falafel shop with roots in Washington, DC that has decided to branch out and open a shop in the area where most future presidents get their Harvard degree and where most future diplomats pick up a few classes at the Fletcher School. Might as well feed your future leaders well as they feed their brains, right?
Here’s how the assembly-line format at AFS works:
- Order your falafel sandwich or falafel plate
- Load up on a wide assortment of toppings that include: pickled everything, cucumber + tomato, tahini, cabbage, hummus, yogurt sauce, spicy red stuff, etc.
The falafel sandwich is pretty good, but I’ve had much better elsewhere. I take issue with the hard, crunchy, and slightly dry variety they are serving here. The toppings really save the day along with the pillow-soft pitas that they serve the falafel with. But the main event is a bit lackluster.
Amsterdam also boasts fries with a variety of interesting dipping sauces. Again, the fries are seriously lacking but are saved by an especially good curried ketchup dipping sauce.
So it appears a trend is surfacing here – AFS dresses-up their fare pretty well but misses the mark on the main events.
Like a tourist making a beeline for the red light district, AFS needs a better map of falafelville. But until better eats in this genre hit the area, I’m sticking with my Chickpea Fritter from Clover Food Lab.