06 June 2012

2 The Falafel of My Life

so this is the best falafel in the world. well, maybe not the best falafel in the world, but the best falafel in europe. the new york times says it's so.

34 rue des rosiers. sear that address upon your heart and get thee there.

kuhrhysteennuh had told me all about this place. she said i had to go. and so, last year, when i was in paris for 12 hours, i tried to do precisely that.

armed with the address, i wandered la marais for a solid hour before falling into the plastic chairs of an inferior falafel place because it was the only falafel place i could find on rue des rosiers. and so i ate my inferior falafel, paid my bill, rose from my plastic chair, walked no less than TEN FEET FURTHER down the street and encountered hordes of happy people feasting greedily on l'as du falafel's superior cuisine.

it was a scene possessing all the innocent glee of a disney production, except it was centered around a mutual love of deep fried chickpeas and pita. i kid you not, people were exchanging high-fives.

(picture of long line of happy people by someone else)
stuffed full of inferior falafel, i walked sadly away and assuaged my grief by making out with a random french dude.

but i remembered that moment. i coveted those people's glee. and so from the time my mother and i touched down in paris, i was dead set on hitting up l'as du falafel for The Falafel of My Life.

less than 24 hours after our arrival, i dragged my jet-lagged mother and my jet-lagged self up to la marais, possessed of a compass, a map, very little sense and no idea whatsoever of the address.

after an hour of wandering, we wandered back to montparnasse, humbled but not defeated.

the next day, we were back. 34 rue des rosiers tattooed in black sharpie in huge letters upon my arm. suddenly, everything looked so familiar. suddenly, i knew precisely where we were, sensed it was near.

victorious, we found it. ill-fated, we found it closed.

three times is not always the charm. sometimes it takes four.

on wednesday, we were back and it was open.

some things do not live up to your expectations of them. l'as du falafel is not one of those things.

an eager french waiter took me arm-in-arm and- with many exclamations of "sweet madmoiselle!"- took my order and my money and walked me to the window, where a falafel sandwich the size of my head was deposited in my hands.

(delicious looking picture by someone else)
the new york times reviewer had declared this "an exercise in napkin management." and, while i don't want to brag, i will say this: i neither spilled nor used my napkin. my whole life of dainty eating had prepared me for this moment, this sandwich, The Falafel of My Life.


Linda said...

a heart-warming story of hope and triumph!

oline said...

OH MY GOD. it was just like rudy!!!