For the love of good food….
For us Bohemian Foodies, food is a BIG agenda on any of our trips and we ensure that we research a lot before visiting any place. When it was decided that we would be going to Paris on our trip, the research took on a different intensity altogether considering the quantum of content available and the number of people raving about different food options in Paris. One of the experiences raved about by multiple people was to have falafels from L’As du Falafel in Le Marais (also referred to as the Jewish quarter).
So, on a day that had already been hectic due to a lot of walking on a hot summer day in Paris, we took a bus from Notre Dame and made our way to Le Marais. When we got off at the bus stop closest to our destination, we spotted two conversing men who looked very Jewish (I am not being racist) and we were pretty certain they would be able to help us out. So we asked them for a walking route to L’As du Falafel. For the next 2 minutes the older waxed eloquent about their falafels and how we must have them. That was a good start we thought!
So we entered Le Marais and it was like a different era altogether. The area was marked out by criss-crossing cobble-stoned narrow lanes and the houses almost looked crooked. There was this group of young boys in the typical Jewish attire of black suit and the black top hat. As we traversed our way into Le Marais, it kept getting more and more crowded with people literally spilling out. The crowd was a young, hip and mostly student population.
We realised that since it was August, L’As du Falafel was conveniently shut. The area is littered with multiple falafel joints but one look around gave us the disappointing story of the snaking queues literally every where. We were so tired that it seemed like a Catch-22 situation as we didn’t want to try and go to any other place and neither were we looking forward to waiting in queues. The husband decided to wait back while I decided to walk a little ahead to spot any other opportunity and that was it!
I saw a board and it struck a bell – Chez Hanna. It was a small joint with some cheap indoor and outdoor seating. We instantly ordered a veg falafel in pita bread and a chicken falafel along with a lemon based drink. All falafels were in the range of 5-8 Euros.
The veg falafel pita sandwich was a pita bread pocket stuffed with fried falafel balls, some amazing sauces, some grated veggies and a slice of fried brinjal (eggplant). Personally, I am not a fan of brinjal but the whole package tasted so good that I gobbled it up, falafel with the brinjal et al.
The chicken pita sandwich was a far more mind-blowing story! There were chunks of chicken marinated and cooked in the special Mediterranean spice mix. It was not at all dry and with the soft pita bread it was an amazing combination. The falafel was also big enough to make us feel full after one. We were so blown away by the chicken falafel that we ordered one more for takeaway to have with beer in the room and we were set!
Le Marais is quite an enchanting neighbourhood and a window into medieval Paris. If you have good Mediterranean food on your mind, then it’s difficult to find anything better!
Name: Chez Hanna
Specialty: Falafel, Pita Sandwiches
Address: 54 Rue des Rosiers, Paris, France
Veg/Non Veg: Both
Value for money: 4.5/5
Food quality: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5