vegansaurus!

01/21/2009

Review: Old Jerusalem!  »

While I’ve already declared the best falafel in the city to be found at Sabra Grill, there are certain obstacles to attaining¬† this heavenly food that prove sometimes insurmountable. To wit: mandatory closings on the Sabbath and all Jewish holidays, location, lack of delivery services. So what does a person do when she wants a tasty falafel on a Saturday afternoon, or a Tuesday night? Especially if she lives in the Mission, or Bernal Heights, or Noe Valley?

The answer is Old Jerusalem.¬† It offers hands-down the best falafel in the Mission, the moistest and tastiest, plus they make two varieties: regular, and stuffed, which has fried onions, roasted pine nuts and sumac in the middle. You can substitute the stuffed falafel for the standard in the falafel sandwich, which I recommend because the stuffed ones are much, much tastier than the regular, and better overall than any other falafel I’ve had in the city, Sabra’s aside, of course.

I suppose a drawback is that Old Jerusalem doesn’t offer the eggplant or french fries that come standard in other falafel sandwiches. Then again, when those extras are fancying up what are bland, dry, crumbly falafels, then I will take Old Jerusalem’s sandwich of less diverse but ultimately way higher quality ingredients. So there.

Old Jerusalem has really long hours, and delivers, so you can have your Middle Eastern food without having to leave the house. If you live too close to justify delivery, call your order in ahead. On weekend nights especially the place is really busy; it’s tiny, and doesn’t take many people to fill up.

If you are for whatever reasons interested in other things than falafel, they make good stuff like ful—hummus made with fava beans instead of chickpeas—and fatta—hummus plus bread and olives—and of course, the Arabic salad, which you assume no place could get wrong, but some restaurants buy crappy tomatoes and ruin everything. Not Old Jerusalem, though. You can also get a vegetarian combo plate, and a lentil soup. They do make a great deal of meat dishes, lots of lamb, and yes that is disgusting! Still, not a reason to skip the really good falafel, especially when your choices are so few and far between around here. Honestly, I have had better hummus, on its own, but Old Jerusalem’s falafel sandwiches are quite good, and so available! Go, eat one, it will make you full and happy.

[top photo via Old Jerusalem; food photos via yelp]

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