It’s been a bit dreary out with all the rain, but that only means one thing: spring is just around the corner. In the way that the seasons change, food follows a similar rotation.While warm soups and braised meat dishes are highlights in the winter, spring remains the best season for food because of all the fresh produce that becomes readily available. It is finally that time of year when farmer’s markets can offer freshly picked strawberries, blueberries and so much more. A restaurant that recently caught my attention was Maoz Vegetarian, because I feel that its offerings of handmade falafel and a refreshing salad bar truly capture the essence of spring.
With that being said, I may have found the greatest new burger option for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. In the middle of busy 11th and Walnut streets stands Maoz. While Maoz may be a franchise, they are on the right path to starting their “vegolution” in serving fresh falafel in a fast service atmosphere.
According to their website, “The origin of the word Maoz comes from the term for courage or strength. Our no-nonsense vegetarian menu, fun experience and satisfying food are a source of strength for anyone who’s ever had a bite of Maoz.”
Maoz opened their mother store in Amsterdam in 1991. Since then, the company has expanded to have restaurant locations in Spain, London, Paris and a few in America. Lucky for us, Philadelphia has two, with another location on South Street.
What makes their concept so appealing — besides the fact that they use fresh, nutrient rich ingredients, making customers aware of what they are feeding their bodies — is that they make the experience simple.
When it comes to ordering, customers have the choice of choosing a Maoz sandwich, falafel salad or a combo. A combo comes with a Maoz sandwich (white or wheat pita filled with hummus, two slices of eggplant and four hearty falafel balls), Belgian cut fries and a beverage. For only $6.95, customers get a soft pita sandwich that holds homemade falafel which keeps its crunchy texture throughout the meal. Everything is also well seasoned and easy to hold for a quick grab-and-go meal.
Besides the fantastic deal, the thing that brings customers back for more is probably the unlimited salad-topping bar. After customers receive their sandwich, they have the option of choosing from over four different sauces (yogurt, ketchup-mayonnaise and garlic, to name a few), hot pepper mixes, salsas, tabouli and a variety of other salads to top their falafel with.
It can be hard to pile everything on top of a sandwich at one time, so the great thing is that customers have the opportunity to go up to the toppings bar as many times as they like to try as many options as possible. The possibilities are endless.
The weather is starting to get nicer out, meaning it’s that time of year for something refreshing to eat. This option is fresh, healthy and a way to start making choices that will only make us stronger in the end.