Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Maoz Grand Opening in New Brunswick, NJ

I happened to find myself in New Brunswick, NJ yesterday, for the "Grand Opening" of the first Maoz in NJ.  Having visited locations in New York and Philadelphia, it was nice to walk into the very first New Jersey franchise of the delicious, international, vegetarian, falafel phenomenon!

Surprisingly, besides balloons there wasn't anything spectacular going on in honor of the inaugural day: no free samples to lure the public or coupons to win over the patrons, like myself, who were clearly already fans.  Nevertheless, the restaurant was almost full, but I still felt like I knew a secret that it would take the town a while to catch onto.  I was excited. 

The restaurant was bright, cheery and medium-sized: managing to fit in seating for about a dozen.  The salad bar was, per usual, a thing of beauty (thanks for the non-vegan notation on the cole slaw; good looking out!).

My falafel-loving companion went for the traditional, royal sandwich, but I went for the salad box because I cannot resist all that the salad bar has to offer.  And, thanks to QuarryGirl, I have long been well-versed in Maoz etiquette (and by "etiquette" I refer not to manners that should be exhibited in Maoz, but rather full enjoyment of their salad bar). 

For those of you who don't know, Maoz offers variations on two basic options: a falafel sandwich or a falafel salad.  You can dress either from the fresh and varied vegetarian (predominantly vegan) salad bar for no extra charge.  While the sandwiches are delicious accented with the extra offerings, if you play your cards right the salad can become a monster of epic salad bar offering proportions...and you can order a plain pita to go with if you choose.  So, having not been to Maoz in a while I went to town and ultimately should have weighed my finished salad; it was a thing of beauty packed with more than enough for two meals.

Believe it or not, this beautiful specimen was handed to me containing "only" lettuce, five falafel patties, hummus, and babaganoush.  I topped the patties generously with tahini and then began building my salad.  Chick peas, broccoli & cauliflower, beets, purple cabbage, pickles, olives, pickled eggplant, carrots, hot sauce, and onions.  It was as delicious as it looks and will be again when I tackle the leftovers tonight.

I also want to note that Maoz offers Belgian or sweet potato fries, both non-greasy, super-potato-y and delicious (I add salt).  Additionally, the menu I picked up also lists 4, low-priced alterna-sandwiches that I've never before noticed at Maoz: two vegetarian and two vegan.  I would be interested in trying the Verde: avocado, lettuce, cucumber, roasted peppers, tahini sauce, & cilantro sauce or the Garbanzo: hummus, sun-dried tomato paste, & arugula; but the truth is that I probably will never be able to resist the salad bar.

Happy to have Maoz in NJ and hopeful that more will follow; I will definitely be returning.  One suggestion for Maoz, though.  Everything about your cool restaurants scream fresh, healthy, and simple.  However, you are forgetting that the public isn't always so swift-- especially when they're hungry.  Please mastermind some effective way to post simple order & prep instructions, because it can get a little confusing when there is a crowd.  Viva la Maoz salad box!

1 comment:

  1. I ate at Maoz in South Florida, and was duly impressed by the food. I wish we had one in the Seattle area.


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