Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mama's Vegetarian

18 South 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-3313
(215) 751-0477

I can't believe after searching the archives that Mama's hasn't been done on here. It IS the best falafel in the city, after all. Yep, that's right, the best falafel in the city, hands down. Other places may have a 1,000 item salad bar, and that's great, but when comparing balls to balls, Mama's reigns supreme. You walk in and jump in line. Try not to go at peak hours (between noon and one) because it's kind of slow and gets very crowded for such a small store.

So you figure out what you want, which shouldn't be that hard with such a small menu, and then place your order. You can specify white or wheat pita. I also get it spicy, which just means they put a bit of chili sauce in first. Then the assembly line takes over.

They routinely run back to the fryer for fresh falafel.

If you are not a falafel fan, for some strange reason, or you are looking for a great side order, try the latkes. Packed with veggies, they are cripy on the outside and tender in the middle.

At $6, the large falafel sandwich is the stuff dreams are made of. Packed with tomato, cucumber, cabbage, hummus, tahini and hot sauce, this is a healthy, delicious and wallet-friendly lunch. Not to mention keeping it Kosher.

A large and small sandwich plus a latke was $11. That's more than enough for two, or one fat person. The sandwich stays together well, and it is packed with flavor. The falafel itself it absolutely perfect. Crispy on the outside, light on the inside and packed with parsley-fresh flavor.

Oh wait, you aren't sold yet? (I know you are) There's more. They offer a free side salad bar of various pickled veggies and sauces. More hot sauce, tahini, and chili pepper spread, as well as pickles, olives, carrots, and these maroon things that I thought were beets, then I thought they were some sort of fig. No, I have no idea what they were, but damn they were all so good. Anyone know what these mystery vegetables (or fruits) are?

When it comes down to it, the falafel at Mama's is just perfect. Everything else is a much appreciated bonus. This is the very definition of a perfect, cheap Center City lunch.


gabulous said...

Those are definitely pickled figs!

Anonymous said...

pickle baby eggplant.

Anonymous said...
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Shish kebab said...

Very nice pictures and the dishes are yummy
Halal Meat Philadelphia