Carrer de Ferran 13
off La Rambla
Nearest Metro: Liceu
What does a very hungry vegan do for a snack when in Barcelona? How does a ravenous vegan satisfy the kind of hunger one only gets after several lagers late at night?
Well, for a foolproof, no-nonsense (falafels are known for their down-to-earth attitude) and ultimately satisfying (yet cheap!) snack, Maoz Falafel is a Barcelona stalwart. It’s vegan and fairly healthy, so we can even forgive, that it’s deep fried.
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What on Earth is a falafel?
So just in case you’ve been living on another falafel-free planet for the last twenty years, what exactly are falafels? Falafels are a Middle Eastern dish of spiced mashed chickpeas that are then formed into balls or fritters and deep-fried, usually eaten in a pitta bread with hummus, tahini or chilli sauce – or all of the above.
A favourite snack of inebriated vegans (the unhealthy variety) with a sudden hunger to qwell and who might value quantity over quality, Maoz provides hot toasted pitta breads fresh from the griddle that are then crammed full of crunchy vegan falafels and then stuffed to bursting with an assortment of salads that will deal with your mojito induced munchies. A vegan can’t live on pan con tomate alone.
For just a few euros you will get your hands on a hot white pitta bread, along with five or six falafels that you can then squeeze full of different toppings that you help yourself from the salad bar.
What’s in it for me?
Fillings include tahini, hummus, mixed leaves, tomatoes, chopped cabbage, chopped onion, chopped courgette (aka zucchini) and chilli sauce. And olives. Which sounds terrible, but it’s Spain, and they like olives, so go with it, ok?
If it doesn’t sound so appetizing, well it is actually. True enough, it is a fast food, but once drenched in tahini and chilli, it all combines into a big squashy, crunchy, drippy and really quite delicious grub. Expect to get messy. Expect to be satisfied. Expect it to not cost too much. Expect to find chilli sauce all down your front (particularly if you’ve been at the mojitos).
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Is it healthy?
If you are looking for healthy food, then there is probably better, but the beauty of Maoz is that it is open until the wee hours and it is cheap. Don’t beat yourself up, if you’re a health food junkie – the food is vegan and involves salad. And to be honest with you, it all tastes fairly fresh. The salad could be more adventurous but once disguised with the sauces and what have you, you’d never guess it was plain salad underneath.
Maoz is great. A wonderful Middle Eastern answer to fast food. I can think of nothing to complain about at all really. Go get yourself some falafels!
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