Amsterdam Falafelshop just opened its second location in DC on 14th Street near the U Street Corridor. Despite my not-so-flattering review of this cafe a few years ago, I was excited to visit the new location. Open till 4 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and late every other day of the week, Amsterdam Falafelshop with its simple menu of falafel and fries, is known as the best late-night cafe in DC. But not only drunk food, the falafels are pretty good and make a great lunch or dinner.
The new location is about the same size as its first location in Adams Morgan. There is a small area for seating in the front and the ordering takes place in the rear of the cafe. New to the menu are bowls -- yay! You really only have a few choices -- a small falafel sandwich with three falafel balls, a regular size with five falafel balls or a bowl. The staff quickly informed me that the bowls are priced by the pound so if I go crazy like the one guy did who recently came through here, I could rack up a $45 bowl. No, thank you. Instead I went with the regular falafel with just three falafel balls instead of five.
Basically, you can fill your sandwich with as many of the toppings as you like as long as they fit in the pita pocket. By getting less fried falafel, I could fill my pita with more of the fresh salads -- a healthier choice. So I smashed my balls as per the very detailed instructions and began to fill. I really appreciated the sign at the ordering area that clearly stated that as a vegan, the only items I shouldn't eat are the brownies, stroopwaffles, yogurt sauce, garlic cream, dutch mayo, and cole slaw. That leaves so many other goodies. The toppings are plentiful from eggplant, cucumber salad, turkish salad, hummus, babaganoush, chickpea salad, pickled cauliflower and turnips, pepperocinis, jalapeno-cilantro sauce, tahini, and more! I think I got a little of everything.
Eating the sandwich can be awkward if you don't ask for a tray as you have to hold it the entire time with nowhere to lay it down. I thought my sandwich was pretty good. The falafel balls, though a bit dry, were great and so were the salads. The bad thing is that the balls tend to stay towards the bottom of the pita so you eat all the tasty salads up top, then get down to the dry balls and realize that you should have pressed some of the salads down to the bottom. Oh well.
The drink selection is limited to some canned drinks or fresh lemonade. I grabbed a San Pellegrino.
All in all, for just $9, it was a satisfying dinner. The only other thing I will note is that the artwork is a bit racy. I didn't expect to see exposed breasts at the falafelshop on the wall, but, hey, maybe that'll keep the families out. Cheap eats for late nights -- that's Amsterdam Falafelshop.
October 18, 2011
1840 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009