Today, I reached sandwich nirvana. Do you ever eat felafel, those little croquettes made of chickpeas, fava beans, bulgur, parsley, and a medley of savory spices? They’re often done wrong—restaurants typically pre-fry them in big batches and just reheat as needed. Not surprisingly, this turns them into overcooked, bland, oil-logged little hockey pucks, tolerable only when drowned in hummus and yogurt sauce.
Thankfully, a new eatery in Adams Morgan, called Shawarma King, has reinvented felafel. They’re made to order—shaped by hand and quickly deep fried. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, they are fragrant with garlic and enough herbs to turn the insides green.
The quality of ingredients and the attention to detail at Shwarma King bring it to the next level. To get started, dress your flatbread-wrapped felafel with assorted homemade toppings at the condiment bar. My faves were the salty pickled beet/turnip/cabbage slaw and a thick Greek-style yogurt with cucumber and tomatoes.
Then, pass your overstuffed sandwich to the shawarma master, who rolls, wraps, and grills it for you in a panini press:
I’m not one to get pumped about vegetarian food, but who could resist this steamy seduction?
As the name implies, Shawarma King takes care of carnivores, too. The tender spit-roasted chicken shawarma was also good:
But the felafel is really where it’s at, and it beats the local competition, Amsterdam Felafel and Shawarma Spot, by a long mile.
The synergy of good bread and perfect filling is worth the trip. So next time you’re craving something fresh and delicious, you know where to go.
1654 Columbia Rd., NW
(between N. Mozart Pl. & N. Quarry Rd)
Washington, DC 20009