Write your own review!

Have you ever wished that you could submit your own falafel review to ratemyfalafel.com but struggled with the layout? Now we have this easy to use template to help you write quick and easy falafel reviews! You can copy and paste this template into Word or any other software of your choice. Send your review to ratemyfalafel@gmail.com.

Happy falafelling!

The Template

Snappy Title

Background/History/story – 200-300 words.

How were you feeling when eating this falafel? What is the story behind it? Feel free to bring in any world events into it. Falafel is the lens in which we interpret the world- how does this falafel relate to the world in a wider context? Or were you just very drunk?

The main review – 100-200 words.

This should include a detailed description of the falafel. How did it make you feel? Textures, flavours? Where was it taking place? What was the atmosphere in the shop like? Customer service? These are all things you can mull on.

Review – a simple scoring system out of 5.

Bread

Salad

Intoxication

Price

Customer Service

if hummus is provided extra points are awarded. Then randomly give it a number out of 5.

Please provide at least 3 photos of the falafel and ideally the location as well.

There you have it. A simple formula, with excellent results. We look forward to hearing your stories.

 

Thanks go to a Miss Quaid for suggesting this template idea.

 

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ratemyfalafel.com goes on honeymoon

That’s right! I done and got hitched. And it wouldn’t be a honeymoon without a falafel (or 4). We set off from the UK after a week of farewells that took us all over the country. We were off, on a road trip to Italy.

We decided to take a detour and pay a visit to a friend who lived in the Netherlands so after a rushed baguette in France we crossed into Belgium and then into the Netherlands. Leiden, where our friend lived, happened to be celebrating some sort of independence day or something so the whole town was full of drunk people and flashing fairground lights and shit, pumping music. It helped with the homesickness. We popped into a coffee shop for..a coffee..and then got out of the busy centre as quickly as possible. And went for a falafel. It only seemed right to start the holiday as we meant to go on, that is, ignoring local delicacies and going straight for the Turkish kebab shop. To be fair, we asked our friend what food Holland was known for, he said chips, so we got some of them as well.

As I recall, the falafel was typically shit. It took a long time to make, yet it fell apart almost instantly, a poorly wrapped excuse for a falafel. It was far too onion-y and the texture was too crumbly – none of the crisp freshness that we look for in a decent falafel. The salad was average (apart from the excess onion) and the bread was OK. I’d had a few lagers, which usually improves the taste, but this falafel did nothing but leave me cold. The chips were alright.

 

Not one to linger on my misfortunes, we carried on our trip, heading to Germany where we spent the night in Cologne – nice Cathedral, tasty Thai Meal and then followed the river Rhine down to the black forest, camping along the river for a few days.

 

The black forest was lovely- we did some nice hikes and saw some ruined castles, and then went to Baden-Baden for an afternoon. I had read somewhere that it was a nice place to go to. It was nice, but in that posh Bath or Exeter sort of way – we couldn’t afford to actually do anything or buy anything there. We searched for somewhere to eat and found ourselves drawn to ‘Istanbul Kebap’ – the only reasonably priced establishment in the spa town. Naturally we ordered the falafel wrap and chips and sat down to await our meal.

The falafel came in a burger bun. Covered in what I think was a disgusting yoghurt based sauce. It could not have looked any less like it did in the photo! I was furious. The salad wasn’t too bad, at least it came with a jalapeno. The falafel itself had at least been fried. That was the extent of the positives of this falafel. There was no hummus. No tahini. No olives. At some point a swarm of over excited school children came over. It was almost too much to bear. I left, depressed. I had thought that falafel in Germany was great- I’d had some lovely ones in Berlin after all. I started to think that it was sign. Maybe poor falafels would over shadow the whole honeymoon?

It was perhaps for this reason, that I didn’t eat another falafel for over a month.

A month. Yes. It could have been something to do with the fact that as soon as we crossed the majestic alps into Italy from Austria, that the food just got so much better. Let’s face it, Italian food is some of the best in the world. And with vegan options pretty much everywhere, I wasn’t stuck for choice. The memory of the falafel started to fade, as we visited mountains, lakes, beaches, ancient ruins, museums and cities.

One month later. Rome. I was hungry. I had time to kill. I remembered I had seen a sign advertising all sorts of foods – curry, chicken, falafel, a full English breakfast, and of course pizza (I think there might be a rule that all takeaways have to provide pizza). I was intrigued. I made my way to the restaurant, which was conveniently located right in front the of the main central station. I sat myself down and was handed a menu, but I knew what I wanted. I ordered a falafel wrap ‘meal’ (which turns out meant it came with a can of coke) for the princely sum of 5 euros. The price was high, and so were my hopes.

While I eagerly waited for my meal, I was persistently harassed by men trying to sell me phone chargers. Do I look like someone who particularly needs a power bank? Nonetheless, I keep my eyes steely and determined and patiently waited for the food. When it came, I was bitterly disappointed.

The thin wrap was so tightly wrapped it was difficult to even take a bite at all. Even though the waiter had confirmed 3 times that I wanted chili, in my professional opinion this falafel had never been anywhere near a chili. The ‘falafel’ may not have even included chickpeas, such was this unrecognisable mush that sat before me, weirdly not even made into separate chunks but just one long sausage. Italy is a country literally full to the brim with olives, but the salad was simply some limp lettuce and some sad tomatoes, not even any cucumber to add any crunch. Despite the poor quality, rest assured that I ate every single bite.

Just a few melancholy hours later however, our luck started to change. I met up with my husband in a different part of town, on our way to a gig at a squatted fort – it has a moat and drawbridge and everything! He was hungry, and after searching around for a takeaway that wasn’t pizza, we found ourselves in a chicken/falafel shop just 5 minutes away from the squat. Much more reasonably prices at 3 euros 50, the falafel came with chips and a drink. This looked a lot more promising. I could still taste the falafel from earlier, but I forced myself to sample the falafel when it came (a falafel reviewers work is never done). It actually tasted alright! It had chips squeezed into the wrap itself and there was a choice of various sauces, including chili. The falafel was fried fresh, it was green in the middle and it had a subtle flavour. The wrap and salad weren’t anything special, but it definitely passed the falafel test of being edible whilst sober, an apparently more and more difficult task.

Stay tuned for more Italian falafels, after the holidays.

 

Falafel not Fracking!

I was standing in what can be best described as ‘pissing rain’, in the middle of Preston new road, wearing a ‘one size fits all’ incontinence nappy. But why? Had I taken a job as a traffic conductor or was I on a mandatory work scheme from the job centre? No. I was there to help block the road to prevent access to the fracking site, that Cuadrilla were still insisting on trying to use, despite literally having no support from anyone. Except from the government of course, and some big businesses, like banks. Anyone with children or like, hope for the future didn’t seem too pleased with the idea that they would soon have no drinking water and would suffer from earthquakes.

I suppose the nappy needs some explanation too, but we’ll get there, eventually.

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I admit I was a little disappointed. I’d gone up to the anti fracking camp to show my solidarity with the protectors up there, some of whom had been there for months, fearlessly stopping the convoys getting in by all means necessary. You’d think, however, that a fully functioning vegan kitchen would have some sort of falafel on offer for hardworking protesters, but shamefully, there was not even a whiff in sight. Not a trace!

My mind racing, tired from the travel up, I wracked my brains to think of an alternative way of accessing a falafel. I hadn’t brought any with me, assuming the situation would deal with itself. It was with this in mind that I offered my services as an ‘arrest-able’. You see, my friend had told me about this time that she got arrested in a group once and when she was released, she was presented with a hot, tasty falafel by the lovely activists of the Green and Black Cross. I’d be lying if i said that this tale didn’t influence my decision a little bit, to rise at 5am, don an adult nappy and ready myself to block the road- ‘locking on’ in arm tubes. (Hence the nappy, it can take hours to get cut off).

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a truck surfer – badass individuals who jump – or ‘surf’ onto a truck and just stay there for days, thus preventing the truck from entering the site!

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, the plan changed as plans do and I was left waddling around in it all day, drenched to the skin from ludicrously insistent rain as I helped out others who had done the deed. This meant stopping them from being run over, and mainly being called a wanker by furious commuters who were so angry by the 30 second delay to their journeys, that revving up to potentially run us over seemed reasonabe. I did consider using the nappy (cos I could) at one point but I thought the novelty would soon wear off and I would lose the only part of my body not soaking wet.

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So I resisted the temptation to piss myself. And despite my best efforts, I didn’t get arrested either, thus eliminating the second potential falafel option. Must try harder next time!

New words learnt –  1 (Truck Surfer, very cool)

Falafels consumed- 0 (v disappointing)

Lorry’s stopped going in – dunno, but lots

Good news – L M T transport pulled out of working for Cuadrilla on ethical grounds

Bad news – scummy Cuadrilla snuck in a convoy in the middle of the night, illegally.

For some actual information on whats going on, see Reclaim the Power and Rising Up on Facebook and Twitter!

#WesaidNo #RollingResistance

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Guest Blog – Ich Bin Ein Berliner

19718742_1109141535852999_1860807209_o.jpgIt was my last night in Berlin and falafel was needed to celebrate the end of….Let’s say a trying week. Trying to work on a budget I had booked myself an airbnb for my 7 nights holiday. I lasted only 4. This airbnb housed a child who threw epic tantrums at 6am that DROVE ME MAD. I was tired. Grumpy. Tearful. I was Over It-  and this was by day 3. After being woken up again by the sound of harmonicas being played (really?) screaming, vacuuming and more screaming, I had had enough. I scoured booking.com for the cheapest deal (I wasn’t going to put my trust into airbnb a second time). Here I landed in, according to wikipedia, the most famous avenue in Berlin: Kufurstendamm. I was surrounded by wealth. My hotel greeted me with a chandelier and had its very own haagen-daz restuarant (no use to a vegan, but I appreciated the luxury). The day before I had spotted FalafelMe from the other side of the road. It looked bright and friendly and its sign boldly stated it was vegetarian.

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It was decided then that for my last night I would go there! All day I had rehearsed how I would ask if it was vegan and for them to omit the cucumber (keine gurke!!!). As I walked for what felt like forever (15 minutes) past all the designer shops my self esteem slightly diminishing with every display of wealth and beauty I finally spotted the bright welcoming signage! They had a number of sauces to choose from. I naturally went for the one named vegan and successfully conveyed my distaste for cucumber. The service was fast and before I knew it I had a bulging falafel pita sandwich. The falafel was crisp and rich and the salad was colourful and crisp. There was even a chilli on top and some bright purple thing that tasted of nothing but made it look great. Unfortunately there were no seats and I was forced to walk past the high end shops, the likes of Chanel, Gucci and bvlgari with bits of lettuce falling down my top and sauce getting in my hair. I managed to find a nice small park to devour the falafel. And it was goooood! )

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Falafel – 4/5 (to be honest I’m pretty new to the falafel game so my references are few)

Brot- 4/5

Salat- 4/5

Level of intoxication- 0/5

Many Thanks to Lil J, our social media organiser and today’s Guest reviewer!

My pitta overfloweth (and not in a good way)

It was a grey Wednesday morning as I woke blearily on the floor of the squat I had been kipping on for the past few nights. The previous night, as I stood rather uselessly watching people impressively craft a bar out of doors that had been acquired from around the building, my friends words had rung through my head – “Apparently it’s the best falafel place in the city. Every lunch time there are queues down the street.” My belly had rumbled at the thought and I reflected on how glad I was that I had taken her up on the idea of trialling such a tempting offer. It was with this in mind I found myself commuting across London at lunch time to meet said friend and head over to try possibly ‘the best falafel in the city.’

As we wandered through the curving little streets near Blackfriars station, right in the heart of belly of the urban beast, we talked at length about previously good falafels we’d had.

I’m not sure I would ever rate anything I’ve eaten 5 out 5,” my friend mused “I would have to know that nothing could ever be better and I’m not sure I could ever know that.”

It was a fair point indeed.

We continued to chat about the best things we’d ever eaten and concluded that really it had a lot to do with the time, the place and what you were actually craving. Wracking our brains back we decided that maybe pizza from a big fast food chain, a chocolate bar and pasta at a central London restaurant had to be the top things on our list for hitting the spot…but here we were, falafel on the brain and hungry rumbling stomachs, were things about to change?

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Falafel House (http://www.falafel-house.co.uk/) was a small little deli with a few high chairs to sit on at the window. We were faced with the choice of falafel in pitta (£4.50) or a falafel salad box (£6.25) – which I suppose isn’t that expensive for the centre of our capital city but still made me wince slightly. Naturally we both went for falafel in pitta and I decided to splash out the extra £1 and get fried aubergines in mine too. The woman serving me did not seem happy with the world today, glowering somewhat at me, but none-the-less filled the pitta up with the multitude of salads they had on offer behind the counter and squeezed a generous amount of chilli sauce over the top.

The first thing I noticed when I unwrapped my falafel from its neat little bag was that the “pitta” it was in looked nothing like any pitta I’d had before. My friend assured me that it was definitely fluffy but still a pitta – I had felt maybe I had just been fobbed off with a large bread roll. The “pitta” was full to the brim and successfully held its consistency and large amount of filling right to the last bite, which is something I feel I can rarely say these days. The falafel, which was actually hard to taste among the multitude of different salads and smotherings of sauce, was fresh and tasty. The salad, of which there was a huge and varied amount, took up most of the wrap and completely swamped the fried aubergine I had paid that extra £1 for (why do I bother?). I feel my friend made the right decision when she opted to not have the bean or lentil salad in hers, I on the other hand had just eagerly nodded when the sullen server had asked if I wanted all salad.

All in all this was definitely not your traditional falafel in pitta but certainly filled us up and left us with a pleasant taste in our mouths. The huge variety of salad, ranging from tabouleh and grated carrot to mixed bean salad to green lentils, would probably have been better appreciated in a salad box and if I go back I’ll definitely be more selective with my choice. Despite not living up to being ‘the best falafel in the city’ it certainly seemed to be the most popular falafel place in the city as a hefty crowd of suits swarmed in and out of the place throughout our stay and I felt very lucky that we’d managed to quickly bag ourselves one of the 4 chairs in the place to munch our lunch. 

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Now here comes the stats!

Falafel -3/5 – Good fresh tasting falafel but nothing to write home about

Bread- 2.5/5 – We both concluded that falafel is best served in a wrap

Salad – 3/5 – The salad selection was vast and expansive (probably would have been good if we had wanted a falafel salad box – but who wants that?) however there were too many different flavours for one wrap. 

Sauce – 3/5 – The chilli sauce had a good amount of spice but could very well have been any big brand sauce from the supermarket

Have you had a good falafel? Or a disgusting one? We need to know! Email us at ratemyfalafel@gmail.com

Many thanks to angel_girl for this excellent summary of  Falafel House!

 

 

Maybe if I had been drunk, it would have been better

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But I’d only had one beer. And it wasn’t. Let me set the scene. I had made the unusual move of going out (and on a Wednesday, no less). The Canteen, on trendy Stokes Croft where we found ourselves, was teeming with drunken youths, some of whom (well, one) asked for our advice on places to go out because we looked ‘cool’. Riding high on that smug feeling, we stayed at least an hour before yawning our way home. Remembering in fury that our cooker is STILL bloody broken, we popped in to Big Bite, a Stokes Croft take away that I usually use for their iconic free cash point. I strode in and ordered a falafel wrap. While waiting for our food to be prepared, we hung about outside with the youths who were littering the porch way, strumming guitar and wailing to the Beatles classic ‘Because’, and swigging glasses of red wine. Opposite, we could see the Telepathic Heights ex-squat, scene of the 2011 riots – the hated Tesco Express lay just a few doors down. Settling onto the cold floor we sang along, the smell of weed wafting in the March air.

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After a while I grew bored and wandered inside, to observe the making of the falafel. I was distracted slightly by seeing a man wrapping up his bloody hand in a bandage in the kitchen out the back. Pushing this out of my mind, I focussed on the falafel. “Which sauce would you like?” questioned the friendly staff member. “Chili please. And hummus, of course” I laughed. “I will have to charge you extra for THAT” he shook his head. I made a very slight protest at which point they agreed to give it to me for no extra cost- they really didn’t put up much of a fight. After choosing from a disappointing array of salad (no olives, for example) they handed me a large wrap, comparable to some sort of baton.

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Plus points-friendly staff, good location, large wrap, free hummus (though it really should be free anyway) Other comments include “salty- in a good way” and “tasty falafel”. This, unfortunately, is where the positives end. The bread was standard, wrapped haphazardly. The onion was overpowering, but despite having both chili sauce AND hummus, the falafel wrap remained ACHINGLY dry. Half way through what felt like a bit of a slog towards the end, the wrap totally fell apart.

Bread – 1/5

Salad – 2/5

Falafel – 3/5

Service – 3/5 (minus for the bleeding)

Intoxication – 1/5

UPDATE!!! Since writing this post, it has come to my attention (thanks angel_girl322) that Big Bite do a vegan pizza with vegan cheese and topping, 12 inch for £7! Got one whilst drunk recently, was great!

 

 

 

CHICK CHICK BOOM!

Many thanks to our guest reviewer this week:  Jonny!

by @falafelboys

Brent Cross shopping centre is known for its shops. There are loads of them. 120 to be precise. There’s even a pop up beach in the summer, where literally 350 tonnes of sand and 100 palm trees are plonked into the North West London car park.

More importantly, since its opening last month, it’s now home to CHICK ‘falafel bar’.

Healthy (ish) fast food, CHICK sell German and Middle Eastern foods. Brilliantly simple, their menu is split into pittas and salads, and there are six items, starting from £5.60. See the full menu below – including a great selection of extras and vegetarian options.

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note from editor – why would you add a boiled egg???

Luring you in, you smell the waft of CHICK’s fresh falafel before you reach it, and it’s really good. Unlike it’s restaurant on Leather Lane though, this branch (number two) is more of a kiosk than a sit-down restaurant, but there is a small seating area for eight people.

Whilst queuing we glanced at the menu but knew what we were going for. The falafel in pita, a classic. The first bite was everything we expected and more. The pita was soft and fluffy (they offer white and brown pita), and the falafel was hot, crunchy on the outside, and soft inside. They were SO fresh, they must have literally been out the fryer for less than 60 seconds before being slipped into the pita. Green in colour, and flavoursome, the pita was filled to the brim with six balls. Unlike some falafels, CHICK succeeded by not having a soggy bottom. Even with two spoonful’s of smooth hummus, tahini and salad it pretty much held together. We experienced a minor hummus leak, but it didn’t fall apart and there was no grease. Whole chickpeas as part of the salad was a nice surprise too, and along with the couscous added texture and extra flavour.

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The eating experience and atmosphere is busy, but in all honesty what do you expect when you’re in the middle of a shopping centre? Having said that, it’s not hectic at all, the queue for the food went down very quickly and the staff are friendly. There wasn’t anything negative about the visit other than a limited selection of drink options, but as it’s only their first month perhaps there will be more to come.

Most importantly, the falafel was unbelievably fresh and much like their strap line ‘Simple. Honest. Delicious’, we agree. Word on the street is there may be more branches opening soon, so watch this space…

Check it out, or should that be CHICK it out!

CHICK, Lower mall, Brent Cross Shopping Centre, NW4 3FP

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