The City's Best Falafel: Not in Brookline!
Wow, that headline really feels like sacrilege, given how long I’ve bowed at the altar of Rami’s, and the Israeli takeout joint still does turn out fantastic chick pea fritters. But the spinach falafel wrap at Sofra has made a convert out of me, and so it’s over the river we go.
Why? Start with the Turkish flatbread, called yufka–similar to a tortilla–which is made fresh the moment you order. Add a lashing of beet tzatziki, which adds a sweet tang and gorgeous color, and sprinkle on sine house-made sweet-and-sour veggie pickle (I spied cauliflower, peppers, carrots, and cucumbers). Throw in a few pickled hot peppers and a sprinkling of lettuce. Then pile on the falafel themselves, made with whole chickpeas, chickpea flour, and spinach, stirred with allspice and onions, and fried until crispy outside, moist and tender inside. Drizzle with tahini brown butter sauce. Die happy.
Owner Maura Kilpatrick admits that this isn’t strictly traditional fare; it’s co-owner Ana Sortun’s interpretation of a classic dish. But it’s fresher and better than any other falafel I’ve tried, and banishes all those memories of pasty, mealy, overcooked balls eaten over a few years of experimental vegetarianism.
“Just today, a customer came in and tried it,” Kilpatrick says. “He said to his friend, ‘I’m going to be spoiled now, because I’m not going to be able to have a regular falafel anymore.’”