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Maoz Vegetarian, 18th. and M Streets Downtown


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I tried Maoz Vegetarian at 1817 M St a few nights ago. It's a falafel chain from Amsterdam. Their menu includes falafel sandwiches (on white or wheat), salad, belgian fries, sweet potato fries. Their soup was lentil soup when I was there. There's a toppings bar where you can fix up your sandwich.

I had the combo that comes with a jr. falafel sandwich, belgian fries, and a drink. They made the falafel and fries to order. I liked my sandwich and fries (which were nicely crispy). The sandwich was wrapped in paper and set in a cardboard box thing that was unwieldy so I took that off right away before I went through the toppings bar. (I found it helpful to use a spoon to stuff my toppings into the sandwich as I went through the toppings bar.) They had sauces in squirt bottles (including garlic sauce which was my favorite, yogurt, tahini, mayo, ketchup) and also more sauces on the topping bar and various vegetable toppings.

There's communal seating - a few picnic-type tables with benches that are oddly shorter than the length of the table.

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Maoz Vegetarian's falafel is great. I had the junior combination--half a falafel sandwich, Belgian frites, and a drink for $7.30 plus tax. Falafel was crispy and not greasy. IMHO, it's better than Amsterdam Falafel. The Belgian frites were also very good. It's true that they don't offer as many sauces as Amsterdam Falafel, but after living in Belgium, I'm used to eating my frites with mayonnaise. I also like eating falafel with simple dressings or accompaniments like tahini. All in all, I like Maoz and think it's a good lunch option for vegetarians and non-vegetarians (like me) alike. The only improvements I can think of would be more comfortable seating and a different view of passerbys on the street (Maoz is located in an English basement of a rowhouse practically next door to Camelot--a "gentleman's club").

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Maoz is right near my office so I've eaten there about a half dozen times since it's opened. I love it! I actually might like it more than Amsterdam Falafel but it's been awhile since I've been to Amsterdam. The jr. sandwich is more than enough for me (especially because you stuff it with all the various toppings). I don't remember them having hummus on the toppings bar, which is the only major draw back.

The fries are excellent! I often get just the regular fries but I've tried the sweet potato fries and thought they were pretty good. The best this about this place is the garlic mayo. This stuff is seriously addictive! I could eat that mayo every day and never get tired of it. They should bottle it up and sell it.

I agree that the communal seating is a bit odd since the benches are not as long as the table. Also the restaurant is certified Kosher which is a nice touch for those out there that keep Kosher (not me...but it was something I noticed).

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Maoz is right near my office so I've eaten there about a half dozen times since it's opened. I love it! I actually might like it more than Amsterdam Falafel but it's been awhile since I've been to Amsterdam. The jr. sandwich is more than enough for me (especially because you stuff it with all the various toppings). I don't remember them having hummus on the toppings bar, which is the only major draw back.

The fries are excellent! I often get just the regular fries but I've tried the sweet potato fries and thought they were pretty good. The best this about this place is the garlic mayo. This stuff is seriously addictive! I could eat that mayo every day and never get tired of it. They should bottle it up and sell it.

I agree that the communal seating is a bit odd since the benches are not as long as the table. Also the restaurant is certified Kosher which is a nice touch for those out there that keep Kosher (not me...but it was something I noticed).

I've only been twice so far, but plan on adding it to my rotation. I get the eggplant and egg in a pita, which is quite tasty. Only problem is that whatever "main" you order is at the bottom of the pita, so when you put the toppings on it's out of balance. I thought I could remedy that by eating at the restaurant instead of carry out. Then I could take it apart before adding the toppings, but that didn't work out so well. I will continue to try, though! The yogurt sauce is delicious, and the toppings are varied and aplenty. I tried the sweet potato fries and found them to be too soggy and fat for my liking. Next trip I'll try the regular fries, as I've heard good things.

The short benches are very odd to say the least! Can't wait for warmer weather to sit outside. And the hummus is listed as an "add on" item. So I guess they charge extra for that?

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As a falafel lover, I'm not sure how I missed the fact that Maoz has been in DC for a year and a half. I discovered it in Barcelona, same as the guy that opened this location (according to today's writeup in the Post). I'll have to head over there!

In Barcelona, the salad option seemed to be the preferred choice for those looking to fill up (by heading back to the topping bar several times). I notice the menu says "salad box is filled once" - wonder if that means that the unlimited salad toppings doesn't apply. I enjoyed the falafel - especially the fact that it is freshly made and not from a mix.

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