Sunday, April 19, 2009

fringe festival 2: Falafel Freiha

Fringe festival: a continuing series covering deliciousness on the edge of town.


Both of us are huge fans of the falafel sandwich and of falafel more generally, and we have been for years and years, but we'd more or less given up on Montreal falafel. So, about a year ago, when our friend Adam told us about an earthly falafel paradise hidden somewhere in Laval, we sat up and took notice. The thing is, that was all he told us. He didn't tell us the name, and he didn't tell us what its precise location was. Fearing we'd use " endless banquet" to go public with the information, thereby unleashing the colossal communications potential of the Information Superhighway and blowing a scoop, he merely teased us with the notion that the real deal might be hiding somewhere in the hinterlands. The Geneva Conventions have been invoked over less.

It took some work, but finally, a few weeks ago, we managed to convince Adam to take us to the promised land (those pesky Chowhounders had long since discovered Adam's precious find, so he was a little more willing to dish). And as we weaved our way up towards Rivière des Prairies and Laval, Adam briefed us:

AG: So, guys, here's the deal: Falafel Freiha is a hole-in-the-wall serving one dish only.

AEB: Falafel, right?

AG: Wrong. The best falafel you've ever tasted.

AEB: (Hmm... We've had some pretty fine falafel during the course of our journeys: San Francisco, Berlin, Köln, London, Paris...) Yeah?

AG: I'm serious. The owners are artists, their sandwich a story. It unfolds with a narrative arc...

I can't really remember the rest word-for-word. Frankly, all his talk about falafel and artistry--of an "erotics" of falafel--had me a little distracted. I just remember thinking that Adam had given this place a lot of thought, and that I was really, really hungry.

And? The verdict?

Well, all I can tell you is that if Falafel Freiha's house sandwich is a story, it's a short story, because it sure didn't last long. My sandwich was fresh, it was made with love, and it was generous, and, quite simply, I devoured it. We all did. One after another.

Actually, the shop itself is a pretty interesting story. The husband and wife team that operates Falafel Freiha comes from a family that has been a major name in falafel in Beirut for decades. They came to Laval seven years ago, promptly established their falafel shop, and have been doing the Freiha name proud ever since. The shop was busy, busy, busy, but they're not in it for the money, or so we were told. No way. It's all for the glory of falafel. Real falafel.

Sitting out in front of Falafel Freiha, eating our full loaded sandwiches (tomatoes, pickles, herbs, tarator sauce) in the bright spring sun, it was hard not to believe them.

Falafel Freiha, 3858 Blvd. Perron (corner of Curé Labelle), Laval, QC, (450) 686-2446


1 comment:

Socky said...

Hi. Good to come upon your blog. I will be in Montreal in July and will surely look up the places you wrote about. Also, thanks for dropping by my blog.