Cauliflower

Maoz

Today I am so happy that I didn’t have food at home to make lunch because I had an AWESOME meal at a new-to-me place. My friend/former coworker Helene actually emailed me while I was in OKC to tell me about this place she went to, and I knew I had to try it.

Maoz is a vegetarian restaurant that has international locations, and then one in Philly, NYC, and now DC. It opened about 6 months ago, but I’d never heard of it until Helene emailed me about it. It’s on M Street between 18th and 19th, so a bit of a trek from my office, but TOTALLY worth it. The whole concept behind it is that they use fresh ingredients and try to do as much farm to table as possible. From the website,

“Maoz Vegetarian is an international, quick service vegetarian restaurant chain, which brought to the world the delicious Maoz sandwich: FALAFEL. Our menu is strictly vegetarian and is based on simplicity, freshness and care. Our famous Maoz sandwich is home baked pita bread filled with crispy, handmade Falafel balls which are made from chickpeas, a vitamin rich legume, packed with plenty of proteins, minerals and vitamin B. The chickpeas are blended daily with fresh spices and vegetables and then fried in zero trans-fat Canola oil. All of our salads and sauces are freshly prepared every day using handpicked ingredients to assure superior quality and freshness.”

So they have falafel sandwiches, or falafel salads, and then a whole salad bar of fresh salads that are made daily and refreshed every few minutes so you know its as fresh as could be. The wraps come with the falafel in a pita and regular or sweet potato fries, and the salad comes with two mix-ins and a drink. For my salad, I added eggplant and hummus as my two mix ins and here it was before I got to the salad bar:

And then the salad bar was AWESOME. Everything was vegetarian and looked and tasted so fresh.

And from the other side:

The first part of the salad bar had: Olives, Pickles, Hot Peppers, Chickpea Salad, Beet Salad, and Carrot Salad:

The next part had Veggie Salad, Tabouli Salad, Broccoli + Cauliflower, Coleslaw, and Cabbage Salad:

And then the end had a bunch of sauces to choose from:

Salsa, Cilantro Sauce, Hot Sauce, and something else I didn’t catch the name of. I loaded up my bowl with practically everything on the salad bar, and you pay for it PRE-toppings, not by weight, which is awesome in my book. Here’s the finished product:

It was AWESOME. The falafel was really crispy and warm, and a perfect contrast to the chilled veggie salads. In my bowl was:

  • Falafel
  • Eggplant
  • Hummus
  • Chickpea Salad
  • Pickled Hot Peppers
  • Beet Salad
  • Veggie Salad
  • Red Cabbage Salad
  • Tabouli Salad
  • Broccoli + Cauliflower
  • Carrot Salad
  • Cilantro Sauce
  • Salsa

The bowl was HUGE. I should have saved some of it because I ate it all in one go and I was stuffed, but it was delicious, healthy, and loaded with lots of fresh veggies. Maoz is definitely a close second to Juice Joint for my favorite places to get lunch in DC when I don’t bring it. I highly recommend you check it out if you live here or visit DC, NYC, or Philly. So, so good.

I’m actually using a little bit of my comp time to leave early today so that I can unpack, go grocery shopping, and hopefully get to Bikram too. My body is missing it since it’s been over a week since I’ve gone – I really can’t wait to go. I find that when I go after taking some time off I have an awesome class, which is a bit different than I’d expect. I still feel a little unsettled since I got home so late last night and haven’t really had any downtime at all since I’ve been back. I’ll be back!

Question: What is your favorite place to go for lunch if you don’t bring it to work/school? What type of food is it?