I was really excited when I heard Davis Square was getting a falafel restaurant and after my first visit to Amsterdam Falafelshop, I’m even happier that this eatery has found its way to Somerville.
The way you order at Amsterdam reminds me a lot of Chipotle in that there are only a few choices with the prices clearly outlined. This simple system leaves little room for errors and speeds the whole process along. Amsterdam is very vegetarian/vegan friendly, the meals are quite affordable (and large) and it’s open until midnight, making it a great spot for lunch, dinner or late-night dining.
At Amsterdam, you can choose from a small or large pita, the difference being the number of falafel balls in each one, or a bowl (which you can get with a pita on the side). The falafel is fried right when you order, so it’s hot and fresh. I’m not a huge fan of fried food, but these falafel were amazing–super crunchy and crisp on the outside yet still moist and tender on the inside–and not greasy at all. The pita is also nice and soft and doesn’t overpower the sandwich.
After you get your falafel, the real fun begins. Amsterdam has a huge toppings bar full of everything from tangy pickles to spicy sauces. After crushing your falafel balls to make more room in the pita (as instructed by the helpful signs on the toppings bar), pile on the toppings. I tried a smattering of things and they all worked perfectly together, providing a cool, zesty contrast to the hot falafel. You might want to leave a tiny bit of room on your pita as there are even more sauces available after you pay.
Speaking of paying, it seems that Amsterdam has thought of everything, as they have neat little stands to rest your unwieldy pita in while digging for your cash or credit card. Amsterdam has fries and brownies to go with your meal, though the pitas are huge, especially when piled high with tasty toppings, so I had to forgo either on my visit. There’s also fountain or canned drinks and lemonade to wash your meal down. The small shop has a few tables inside or if it’s a nice day, I recommend taking your pita outside to one of the picnic tables in Davis. But bring some napkins, as this is one messy meal!
248 Elm St., Davis Square
Open daily, 11 a.m.-midnight