WHIP: Mamoun’s Falafel

Julia Marshall, Staff Writer

Walking down Witherspoon Street in Princeton, you pass a few different eateries. Right between Olives and Subway, is Mamoun’s Falafel. The second you walk through the door, the smell of all the delicious food cooking in the back immediately envelops you. The atmosphere inside is warm, inviting, and very lively. Known for their Middle Eastern cuisine, Mamoun’s serves a wide variety of offerings from kabobs and shawarma, to different deserts such as knafe and mubrumeh. Prided on freshness, authenticity, and high quality, Mamoun’s makes sure to instill all these in each meal. All their dishes are made in house, with fresh ingredients, imported spices, and signature recipes. Its ethnic cuisine gives it a unique aspect: it is one of the only restaurants in Princeton where you can buy falafel.

The restaurant was a success from the moment it opened in Princeton in 2013. As one of six Mamoun’s on the East Coast, it is the newest restaurant in a small franchise. With a foundation to grow on, this one really thrived. The first Mamoun’s Falafel opened in 1971 in Greenwich Village, New York City. In fact, it was the first falafel restaurant in that city, and was a huge success. Reportedly, there was a line out the door at all hours of the day. Its outstanding success inspired the owners to turn Mamoun’s into a franchise and expand across the region.

Being a frequent visitor to this establishment, I can honestly say Mamoun’s is one of my favorite places to eat in town. I’ve sampled most of their dishes – from kebabs to baklava to their mango juice. Even though everything I’ve tried is good, I definitely have my “go-tos.” My usual order consists of a chicken kabob sandwich, fries, and mint lemonade. Their fries are definitely the best in town.

Junior Nick Jain has described Mamoun’s as “really loud and vibrant,” when it’s full, and as for his evaluation of Mamoun’s overall: “I think the location is really convenient; the actual restaurant is really nice. I highly recommend it. It has very good food if you want something quick and something that tastes good. Usually my food comes within five minutes, which is really nice,” said Jain.

According to the staff, the most popular item on the menu is the falafel or the shwarma. While these may not be foods that we are all familiar with, an employee of Mamoun’s explained, “Falafel is a mixture of chickpeas, onion, parsley, and spices, and the shawarma is lamb with a mixture of spices as well.”

Mamoun’s is definitely a place everyone should try. Its wide selection of dishes makes it easy for anyone to find something appealing, and with their mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes along with many variations, there will be something new for all.