Falafel Faloda-Salátabár

Paulay Ede u. 53 [map]
Pest Centre, VII, Király utca (T4/6), 3 min
Tel. 061 351 1243
Cuisine>Vegetarian

Rating: 7.1/10

The first time I was told about Falafel, a salad bar where customers can fill their own pitas, I thought it was a nice idea. Very twenty-first century, like digital television, or virtual reality - put the customer in charge, and if they want to steer their ship into the rocks (by say, filling their pita with falafel balls, broccoli and thousand island dressing) then they are at complete liberty to do so.

In reality, the Falafel sign is somewhat misleading. It’s a salad bar, which serves falafel. What’s more, as names go it’s a slightly unfortunate choice; the falafel balls themselves are underwhelming. Even straight out of the kitchen, they’re like little stones, which suffer terribly in comparison to the alternatives on offer at the Hummus bar (a falafel’s throw away on Kertesz utca). As for fresh vegetables, you probably want to look elsewhere, or bring your own - a lot of them seem to have come fresh from a tin/freezer.

So far then, it all sounds a bit disappointing. And yet, in terms of inexpensive restaurants, Falafel definitely has something to offer. Their főzelék and soups are good value, there’s a glass house on the counter if you have the urge to add something deep-fried to your meal, and bowls are available in place of pita bread, for traditionalists who don’t usually eat their salad containers. These come in two sizes, big (850 ft) and small (660 ft).

Whenever I order one, I get the sneaking suspicion that they aren’t quite value for money, that the size of the bowl doesn‘t match up to the price. There’s a trick to this though… be brave. You may have a staircase to negotiate and yes, the tables are close enough together for fellow diners to scrutinise just how foolishly high you’ve piled your food, but don’t worry. Surreptitiously scoop up the carrot you’ve dropped on the floor, and ignore the tomato that’s sliding down the outside of your bowl - with any luck, you aren’t the only one.

Somehow then, Falafel adds up to a little more than the sum of its parts. Maybe it's the novelty of being in total control, or perhaps it's something to do with the leftfield salad choices (which curiously, include brussels sprouts). Either way, for a good budget meal it's worth a visit. And remember that the customer is always right, even if he has just thrown his food all over the stairs...

Food: 7/10
Service: 6.5/10
Atmosphere: 7/10

Value for money: 8/10

From the 4, 6 tram stop at Király utca walk towards Deák tér till you get to Nagymező. Turn right past the church, walk three minutes, turn right again and you're on Paulay Ede utca.
make, build your own falafel, salata bar, hummus, falafell fala, fell,
Andy T.

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