Maoz , Rue Xavier Privas

Scores out of 5: Veggie friendly : 5/5; Vegan-options available: Yes; Value for money: 4/5, Quality of cooking : 3/5; Ambience : 1/5; Service: 3/5 ;Atmosphere: 3/5

Maoz is a small falafel and chip joint, that lies in the warren of small lanes between the Quai St Michel and Boulevard St Michel, close to the much-photographed Notre Dame. The area itself is fairly touristy and boasts a huge number of restaurants - Greek, French, Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Chinese, you name it. Some of these do offer veggie options, but cross-contamination is rife and due to the touristy nature of the area, even small places can be quite pricey.

Maoz is extremely basic in its set-up and fairly cheap price-wise. A full fledged Maoz menu costs just under 7 euros and consists of a falafel (chick-pea balls in a pitta bread), salad from the well-stocked salad bar , a portion of hot chips and a drink, covering the gamut of what this shop offers.

Note, I say shop, rather than restaurant, because it's quite unlikely given how busy the place is, that you will be able to squeeze your bottom onto one of the two-seater tables that has been crammed in beside the salad bar. So, you will need to buy your lunch at Maoz and find a nearby spot, perhaps along the Seine or near the Notre Dame, to perch and savour your food.

The decor at Maoz, as you may well imagine, is so basic it's virtually absent. But what Maoz lacks in style, it makes up in substance! The falafel balls are freshly fried to order and served in basic pitta pouches along with a free dollop of humous, some salad leaves and fried aubergine (for 50 cents extra). I wouldn't recommend asking for the extra aubergine even though it's cheap, unless you really love the vegetable, because fried aubergine soaks up huge amounts of oil spoiling the taste and texture of the falafel.

The chips come out of the frier, perfectly cooked and piping hot. They are crispy on the outside and melting-yet-with-some-texture-in-the-middle. And if you have them by themselves, it'll only cost you 2 euros for a superbly filling portion. Given the portion size and the quality, my partner R and I think Maoz' chips make for almost a whole, if not supremely healthy, meal.

There is a well-stocked salad bar, which also includes a few different types of chilli and coriander-based sauces, which work really well with the falafel. My personal favourite is the green one, but it's super-super hot, so take a small portion. The salad bar itself, serves up chopped tomatoes and onions, green and black pitted olives, sliced cucumber, radish salad, beetroot chunks and the list goes on. So there's loads of choice and the salad bar is regularly replenished, so you can help yourself to the vast variety of fresh veggies.

Drinks consist of cans of coke, orangina, water, juice and so on. So again, a good basic selection.

Maoz' simple menu allows you to choose a combination of the items described above, in a manner that suits your appetite and your pocket. So, it's fantastically good value, especially for a quick meal on the trot.

Highly recommended by FussyVeggie for cheap and cheerful fare!!

Maoz Falafel,
8, Rue Xavier Privas

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