Lee and I have only recently discovered the wonder and DC staple that is Amsterdam Falafel Shop. A few weeks ago, on my continuing downward slide of holiday overindulgence, we wandered over to Adams Morgan and ordered a sampling from their entire menu. AFS only sells three things - falafel (regular or small, on white or wheat pita), fries (regular or small), and brownies. In a clear statement of cholesterol priorities, Lee and I ordered a small wheat falafel, regular fries, and a brownie, setting us back about $12.
AFS is not much of a restaurant; the cashier curtly informed me that they did not have any plates or utensils (and they were almost out of napkins). You order at the counter and are almost immediately handed a foil-wrapped cone of fries or falafal. There is a mind-boggling toppings bar for your falafel, from the standard tzatziki, tabbouleh, and tahini to pickled beets, corn, chickpeas, and cucumber and tomato salads.
For the fries, there is ketchup, malt vinegar, and something labeled “Dutch Mayonaise”.
“What makes it Dutch mayonaise?” I asked Lee as we took our seats at AFS small selection of tables.
“I don’t know,” Lee replied, and then proceeded to inhale half of our small falafel. I guess it was pretty good; I would say more, but Lee ate most of it in a mere matter of seconds.
Meanwhile, I busied myself with our enormous cup of fries, still scalding hot from the deep fryer. AFS fries are nice and crispy, as all good fried items should be. Initially, I ate them dipped in ketchup and did not find them to be particularly remarkable. However, when I put that first fry, swathed in a gooey cloud of “Dutch” mayonaise, into my mouth, something magical happened. I chewed and smacked my mouth for a moment, forehead creased in concentration. “No,” I said, “There’s something in this mayonaise. It’s not just regular mayonaise. It’s… kind of sweet and tangy.” And, married with the fry, so salty and greasy, it was like entering heart attack heaven.
Once I started, I could hardly stop. Each bite was better than the last. So many textures, so many favors: chewy, gooey, sticky, salty, greasy, sweet, vinegary, smooth, crunchy. Aaaaaagh. My arteries are aching just thinking about it. For days afterward, I would suddenly be struck with an acute craving for this fattening flavor explosion (nevermind the accompanied tightening in my chest).
My newest DC fear is finding myself stumbling forth from some cheesy theme bar on a Saturday night in Adams Morgan and, after having consumed at least 3 days worth of calories in alcohol, deciding that a giant cone of frites and Dutch mayo would be an awesome way to end my evening.
Actually, what am I talking about. It would be a totally awesome way to end my evening.
Amsterdam Falafel Shop
2425 18th Street NW, Washington, DC