Falafel Fracas: Haji-Baba vs. Al-Hana at Baiz Market
Anyone who's had a foray into vegetarianism or traveled around Europe on a budget has made fast friends with the falafel sandwich. It's cheap, filling, and easy to eat on the go, with a pita outside to hold the lightly fried chickpea goodness on the inside.
Heather Hoch An old favorite -- but which is the best falafel sandwich?
Other famous falafel companions include tahini, tzatziki, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and parsley, but the innards rely heavily on who's assembling the sandwich. A good falafel ball is crispy on the outside, but still moist and smushy on the inside and with generous seasoning. This week, we're pitting two of our favorite falafel joints against each other to see who serves the best sandwich.
In This Corner: Haji-Baba
Heather Hoch Haji-Baba's thick pita and tahini-soaked falafel, with a side of tzatziki.
The Setup: Don't let appearances fool you. The goofy sand dune and rubble mural that seems to have been painted in the era that its set, along with the plain Jane tables and chairs, make Haji-Baba appear as though it doesn't have a lot to offer. But the freshly prepared gyros and flavorful foul moudammas prove otherwise.
The Good: Following the tradition of falafel sandwiches, Haji Baba serves its cheap (under $4) and quick. If you know to ask for it on handmade pita, you'll have a better wrap. The simple sandwich is also larger and more filling than most others we've had.
The Bad: The falafel is a little on the dry side compared to others in town. Plus the wrapping techniques leaves something to be desired -- along with a puddle of tahini on your lap.