Maoz Vegetarian Debuts in South Beach: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Kosher Falafel for Under $6 (Photos)
|All photos by Emily Codik|
|Falafel sandwich at Maoz Vegetarian for $5.95|
Last summer, while walking through Paris's trendy neighborhood Saint-Germaine-des-Prés, I came across a petite falafel shop named Maoz Vegetarian. Inside was a long line of Parisians loading up falafel sandwiches with tabouli, tahini, and greenery from an expansive salad bar. And it cost less than 5 euros.
Then, after sampling the tender pita bread, the crisp vegetables, and delectable falafel balls, I realized Maoz was much more than just a cheap fast-food joint. It was fresh fare at a reasonable price. Immediately, I thought a Miami franchise of the Amsterdam-founded restaurant would be a great success.
A year and a half later, a Boca Raton couple named Rob and Leslie Ginberg have done exactly that. The South Beach locale for Maoz Vegetarian opened this week.
|Interior of Maoz Vegetarian in South Beach|
|Communal tables at Maoz Vegetarian|
Like me, the couple first sampled the eatery while vacationing in Europe. In their case, it was at a Maoz location near Barcelona's popular street, La Rambla. They instantly saw potential for success in South Florida.
In 2008, they opened a franchise in Boca Raton's Town Center mall. It was a hit. This year, they brought the eatery to South Beach. Already, they have signed a lease to expand to Chicago. They hope to follow with other locations across Miami.
Maoz Vegetarian already has a presence in New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
|Sandwiches and salad offerings include unlimited toppings from the self-serve bar|
|More toppings, including red cabbage and coleslaw|
Located on Washington Avenue, right off of Lincoln Road, the restaurant is entirely vegetarian and certified Kosher. It offers a wide array of vegan and gluten-free options.
Like in Paris, prices are a great lure. Patrons can select either a falafel sandwich, which costs $5.95, or a falafel salad box, which costs $7.95. Both items include unlimited salad toppings from the self-serve bar. The toppings features red cabbage, carrots, tabouli, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, avocado, hummus, feta cheese and more. There are also a variety of sauces made out of yogurt, tahini, garlic, cilantro or tomato and onion.
The menu includes freshly squeezed juices for $3.50 to $4.50 and vegan soups for $3.75 (small) or $4.75 (large). Soups options change daily and vary from split pea to tomato basil to white bean.
The restaurant is open seven days a week, as of 11 am. Sunday to Thursday, Maoz Vegetarian closes at 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, the eatery shuts its doors at midnight.
Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.