Stopped in on Sat. afternoon to finally check out this new Persian style falafel. He has a little corner in Sandwich Works. Kind of a disappointment. Jake is very nice but the falafel missed. There were 2 people ahead of me, and it took a while for him to get their orders and get to me. He is truly a one-man operation, so he is juggling taking the orders and cooking to get everything out. Needless to say, it's slow going. When I finally got my order in, he said it would be another 10 minutes or so, as he had to cook another fresh batch. Ok, no worries, I'm not in a rush. He gives you an order slip and then you have to go wait in line again at the main counter to pay.
A few things were red flags: First, he is using one of those little deep fryers that you can buy for your home. Not vented, and limited in turnover. Second, he is forming the falafels by hand, which compresses the mix far too much to give a light, tender product. Finally, the place was a bit of a mess, with lettuce carpeting the floor beneath his feet. The falafel wrap was generous size, with shockingly large falafels inside. I'm talking 50% larger than a golf ball. Started eating and realized that the falafels are completely raw inside. Not just a little in the center, but completely, once you get past the outer crust. The mix is tasty enough, although could use a little more seasoning for my taste. My DH (Israeli and very upset about the quality) and I ate it anyway, and then I spoke with Jake briefly to let him know that they were not cooked. He apologized and said he was making them bigger today, so that would explain why they didn't cook through. He offered to make me another, but I passed.
It would be nice to see this guy succeed......we need something like this in Newton. But for now, it's a bit amateurish. The falafels that my DH makes at home on the stovetop are orders of magnitude better than these. :(
Post posting notes: A few other downers: He didn't have any hot sauce that day, and the other wrap accoutrement were fairly pedestrian: lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and tahini sauce. He also asked me 3 times whether it was "to go" or not, and still packed it "to go" when I picked it up, even though I told him each time it was "for here". Clearly this guy is spread thin.....kudos for taking it on, but it falls short.