Monday, 2 December 2013

[Final] Al Kouther vs Meal Deal Chilli is King

So 8 months and 51 falafel wraps later, we've reached the climax. It's Al Kouther vs Meal Deal Chilli is King to decide which is the best falafel wrap on Leather Lane. Going into the final Meal Deal Chilli is King are the bookie's favourites with falafelodds of 1/3 and it'd take a brave man to bet against them.

Monday, 25 November 2013

[3/4 PO] King of Falafel (Lebanese) vs Brothers (Spicy)

So the finalists have been decided and we now know that the gold and silver medals will be going to Al Kouther and Meal Deal Chilli is King, although who gets which is anyone's guess. Before that event takes place we have to go through the formality of deciding who takes bronze. This match of any knockout competition is usually a half-hearted affair which tends to see both sides dragging their heels thinking what could have been. We're glad to say that this wasn't the case for this Falafeloff fixture as this turned out to be one of the pairings of the tournament.


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

[SF2] Meal Deal Chilli is King vs Brothers (Spicy)

Battling for a place up against Al Kouther in the final, in one corner we've got Meal Deal Chilli is King - a place we once said some terrible things about and in the other corner we've got Brothers - a place we have been known to almost exclusively say fantastic things about.


Brothers (left) vs Meal Deal Chilli is King (right)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

[SF1] King of Falafel vs Al Kouther

We should say before we get started that any of these four semi-finalists are worthy winners of the competition. Drawing parallels to 1997, in a way it's unfortunate that a Chesterfield Town haven't upset the odds to find itself within a sniff of the F.A.lafeloff Cup Final but we have got two scintillating ties for you.

Fighting for the first place in the Falafeloff Final, we bring you King of Falafel with his Lebanese wrap against Al Kouther - the place where this silly little tournament started back in April (Al Kouther, 4th April).

Let's do this.


Monday, 4 November 2013

SEMI FINAL TIME!!!

So, to remind both yourselves and ourselves of the occasion, it's semi-final time!

Semi-Final 1 sees Al Kouther take on King of Falafel
and
Semi Final 2 sees Brothers against Meal Deal Chilli is King.

The battle of Leather Lane is picking up pace. May the best falafel win.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

[QF2] Al Kouther vs Pret a Manger

So here it is, the long overdue final quarter final write up. Al Kouther vs Pret a Manger. The former having stormed into the Quarter Finals after coming up against our DIY Sainsbury's effort and the latter perhaps counting themselves a little lucky after sneaking a closely fought battle with Mediterranean Food Bar (Mediterranean Wrap). A blockbuster place in the semi finals awaits against The King of Falafel.


Thursday, 10 October 2013

[QF4] Mediterranean Food Bar (Moroccan) vs Brothers (Spicy)

Sorry for the huge delay between quarter finals, falafel fans. The officers have been busy. The temperature's dropped a bit since the last entry but let's hope the standard of falafel wraps hasn't.

Mediterranean Food Bar (Moroccan) vs Brothers (Spicy), an even match one would have thought, here goes...  


Friday, 20 September 2013

[QF1] King of Falafel (Lebanese) vs Tesco

Second Quarter Final time...

KING of Falafel vs a rubbish supermarket. Only one winner one would have thought...


Due to a little holiday this one's unfortunately taken a little while to write up so comments on the form of each of these vendors may be a couple of weeks out of date. Anyway, here goes...

Thursday, 5 September 2013

[QF3] Brothers (Mild) vs Meal Deal Chilli is King

Here we have it - the first quarter final of Falafeloff.

Brothers (Mild) who are a lot of people's favourites to win the competition after qualifying in 2nd in the heats just a small fraction of a percent off the top spot vs Meal Deal Chilli is King who only qualified in 10th place but impressed after making light work of Oasis in the first knockout round.

Meal Deal Chilli is King (left) vs Brothers (Mild) (right)

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

[L16.8] Brothers (Spicy) vs Tiffin

For the last remaining place in the Falafeloff quarter finals, Brothers' often overly acidic 'Spicy' wrap was up against Tiffin's often microwaved lettuce featuring falafel wrap.

Brothers (Spicy) vs Tiffin

Saturday, 24 August 2013

[L16.4] Mediterranean Food Bar (Mediterranean) vs Pret a Manger

Mediterranean Food Bar's freshly made to order Mediterranean Wrap was up against Pret's pre-prepared Falafel & Halloumi hot wrap. At stake was a place against Leather Lane favourite Al-Kouther.

Friday, 16 August 2013

[L16.6] Meal Deal Chilli is King vs Oasis


Meal Deal Chilli is King are a bit of a dark horse in this competition. The quality of their product is well known but given the inconsistency of their staff and ability to bust a queue no-one can be sure how far they will progress. Today they found themselves up against Oasis, sellers of a pretty decent falafel wrap which was hugely let down by a floppy tortilla wrap. As you can see below this hadn't been rectified but read on to find out who won this battle.


Saturday, 10 August 2013

[L16.2] Tesco vs Pod

This was probably the least mouthwatering tie of the last 16 stage of the competition. With both wraps having been pre-prepared there was unlikely to be much variation in these wraps since the heats when Tesco (60.2) out-falafeled Pod (59.85) by only 0.35 marks.


Read on to find out if Tesco were able to sneak in front again.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

[L16.7] Mediterranean Food Bar (Moroccan) vs King of Falafel (Moroccan)

Today saw the first Leather Lane derby match of Falafeloff: Mediterranean Food Bar (Moroccan) vs King of Falafel (Moroccan).

Read on to find out who won the battle of al-Mamlakat al-Maghribiyyah...


King of Falafel (left) vs Mediterranean Food Bar (right)

Friday, 26 July 2013

[FalafelOffTheRecord] Chick, 17-19 Leather Lane

We feel now is an appropriate time to explain what a 'FalafelOffTheRecord' is since it's the first time we've mentioned it. It's when we review a Falafel wrap that isn't part of the competition (i.e. the 20 or so entrants that were around at the start of the heats) to see how it fares on our balanced scorecard. This idea initially came about to cater for any falafel wraps that weren't either on or close enough to Leather Lane but we still wanted to give eat and review. But in unforeseen circumstances, since the tournament began there has been another outlet wanting to join in Leather Lane's falafel fun, 'Chick'. They seem to have some pedigree but since the tournament was so far underway they are unfortunately going to have to wait until next year's competition to vie for Falafeloff Champion 2014.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

[Preview] Chick, 17-19 Leather Lane

As announced on twitter (@falafeloff) a couple of weeks ago we noticed a new falafel and schnitzel specialist open on Leather Lane, 'Chick'. 



We went there the day after it opened and were a little underwhelmed with the product which we felt was a bit falafel heavy and all other contents light. Although the pita was a whopping £4.65 we wanted to cut them some slack as they were just finding their feet on the falafel furlong so thought it unfair to subject them just yet to our balanced scorecard. Time has passed now for them to have had chance to pull their socks up so be prepared, Chick. We're coming for you...



Tuesday, 23 July 2013

[L16.3] Al Kouther vs Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's 'Falafel & Humous Wrap' was the lowest ranked supermarket qualifier from the preliminary heats and found itself pita-ed up against falafel heavyweight Al Kouther. Maybe it ran scared because as it wasn't to be seen on any of the shelves of the three local Sainsbury's stores in the area (Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell Road, Fetter Lane). We didn't want to let this no-show spoil our day so we bought the ingredients separately and made our own.


Thursday, 18 July 2013

[L16.5] Brothers (Mild) vs Pane Caffe

After last week's valiant effort from relative falafel minnow 'Wrap it Up!', in the first match of the second half of the draw could the it be David's turn to defeat Goliath in this week's match up of Brothers (Mild) (left) vs Pane Caffe (right)?

 

VS



Sunday, 7 July 2013

It's a knockout! Last 16 draw

We've reached the halfway mark in Falafeloff 2013 and are now entering the knockout stage of the competition where the qualifying 16 have been seeded and entered into two halves of the draw.


The draw reveals that there is no possibility of an all Brothers final. Should they beat their respective opponents they would meet in Semi-Final 2. The all Moroccan 7th game of the Last 16 (L16.7) is the only derby match of this stage of the competition. At this last 16 stage there are, on paper, some easy fixtures for some of the falafel giants of Leather Lane but as with all cup competitions, there could be an upset waiting just round the corner.

Stick with us falafelfans. This could get interesting...

Brothers, 99 Leather Lane - Spicy Wrap

This lunchtime visit was the last remaining falalel wrap of the heats before we enter into the knockout round. With all Brothers having to do was to beat a non-existant wrap (Tony's Cafe) they were certainly a shoe-in for the next stage. Or were they...?*



*yeah they were

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sainsbury's, 17-23 Farringdon Road

Our preferred Sainsbury's would have been the one that sits at the head of Leather Lane on Clerkenwell  Road but we tried several times to get one of their falafel and houmous but all we found were empty shelves. Were these hot cakes being snapped up on a daily by earlier birds than us or were the employees of Sainbury's, Clerkenwell Road just not very good at putting stock on shelves? To find out if this product was any good we had to stroll over to Farringdon Road which had just one remaining unit left on display.

                                      

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Kitchenette, 41 Greville Street

Kitchenette provide the catering for our (non-falafel)office in our non-falafeloff jobs so we've experienced their excellent range of sandwiches and wraps before but have never set foot inside. Visiting their website www.kitchenetteuk.co.uk you'd not be blamed for assuming that they provided any service other than office catering. If their falafel wrap was able to match the many sandwich platters of theirs that we've eaten then this should be another successful lunchtime outing.


Mediterranean Food Bar (Mediterranean Wrap), 21 Leather Lane

Leather Lane had served us up a few disappointing falafel visits so we looked to Mediterranean Food Bar to get things back on track with their Mediterranean Wrap. We visited them initially back in April to review their Moroccan Wrap and were very impressed. Now it was time for their Mediterranean Wrap to attempt to restore some faith in Leather Lane that had suffered a blow after visits to EAT and
Tiffin.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Tiffin, 24-26 Leather Lane

You've probably walked past this place loads of times, in fact, you've probably eaten in the place without realising that it's called Tiffin. To be honest, we're not even seen for ourselves that it is called Tiffin and believe that it's just been passed from generation to generation via word of mouth since it was established. We went on a recky there last year (when we were still calling it 'place where Neil buys a peri peri wrap from sometimes') and ate easily the worst falafel wrap of our lives so have been putting off our revisit for as long as possible in the hope that the word of falafeloff had spread and encouraged them to up their game.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

EAT, 78 Hatton Garden

EAT is a company that was founded in 1996 with "the ambition of providing the best food, soup and coffee in London at reasonable prices".  My guess is that a lot's changed in London in terms of food, soup and coffee in the past 17 years but for anyone that's not been to an EAT, it's basically a mediocre, artisan-breadless version of Pret.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

King of Falafel (Lebanese), 93 Leather Lane

So we returned to get ourselves back involved in the King's immersive falafel theatre, this time trying out his cheaper and more traditional Lebanese falafel wrap (the only difference being the bread). Our main criticisms before were that the wrap was a bit costly and that there wasn't enough filling. With this wrap being a pound cheaper at £3.25, he was off to a good start.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Pret a Manger, 10 Leather Lane

It was time for us to visit another one of the growing number of chains on Leather Lane, Pret a Manger which translates into English as 'Ready to eat'. Whilst their food is priced a little on the steep side you can usually be guaranteed that you're exchanging your money for a quality lunch. On learning that their falafel wrap came with bonus halloumi we were anticipating big things from this entry.



Saturday, 11 May 2013

Pane Caffé, 160 Clerkenwell Road

Pane Caffé is a well presented shop on Clerkenwell Road at the head of Leather Lane sat sandwiched between two Asian establishments, the excellently named Chinese takeaway 'Kung Food' and less excellently named Korean restaurant 'Tohbang' which according to their website translates, LITERALLY, as 'Larder'.


Monday, 6 May 2013

Tesco, 43-45 Farringdon Road

This week saw us venture off the beaten track for the first time in the competition to Farringdon Road but, in all honesty, we weren't looking forward to the preprepared, preprepackaged supermarket entry.


Tony's Cafe, 61 Leather Lane


We were disappointed to find that in the past year Tony has stopped selling falafel wraps and has now decided to focus his efforts on salad bowl game. Tony, you'll be sorely missed but we decided to rate you anyway.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Meal Deal Chilli is King, 41 Leather Lane

We're not sure if this place is called 'Meal Deal' and their slogan is 'Chilli is King' or whether they're called 'Chilli is King' and they offer meal deals so we've decided to hedge our bets and call them 'Meal Deal Chilli is King', which has to be one of the most bizarre names for a shop we've ever heard.


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Oasis, 25 Leather Lane

Some might say that £4.25 is a bit steep for a falafel wrap. It's certainly one of the more expensive wraps on Leather Lane but it's not half the world away from the rest of the competition. Oasis is the first coffee shop that we've come across during the competition so we were interested to see if their food would be up to scratch.


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

King of Falafel, 93 Leather Lane - Moroccan Wrap

King of Falafel is as much of an experience as it is a falafel outlet. What started off as a grocery store became a grocery store that sold falafel wraps and then a falafel shop that was also a grocery store to solely a falafel retailer. People come in their droves to get a front row position to see the master at work; sometimes even queueing to the other side of Leather Lane for one of this fine man's regal wraps.

Will The King reign supreme over Leather Lane? Read our review of his Moroccan Wrap (or just look on the leaderboard if you can't be bothered) to find out...



Brothers, 99 Leather Lane - Mild Wrap

There was no messing about this week for Falafeloff as we headed straight to the top of Leather Lane to visit this middle eastern heavyweight. This place is well renowned for serving high quality falafel wraps and we were hoping today was no exception. With Al-Kouther currently sitting pretty at the top of the leaderboard, 74.5 was the score to beat.


Monday, 15 April 2013

Mediterranean Food Bar, 21 Leather Lane - Moroccan Wrap

Fortunately for us, we knew (and we expect you've guessed) what we were ordering but please spare a thought for those less clinical. It's very difficult to see, let alone read, their Mediterranean Food Menu from in front of their Mediterranean Food Counter as it's printed on an A4 piece of paper, 3 metres away with what must be size 20 font.



Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Pod, 6a Leather Lane

Pod came to Leather Lane with the intention of providing local office workers with 'proper, natural food' in the backend of 2012. Whilst, yes, they are a chain, their heart seems to be in the right place; selling a seasonal range of nutritious, ethical lunches to hungry, health-conscious punters.



Sunday, 7 April 2013

Wrap It Up, 45 Leather Lane

When this relative newcomer popped up on Leather Lane we were interested to find out how this chain was going to compete with the more established lunchtime favourites in the area. Unfortunately we missed out on the free wraps on their opening and I admit it's taken until now to get round to sampling one of their 'World Gourmet Wraps'.


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Al Kouther, 22 Leather Lane

Fresh from their recent refurbishment we were keen to start the falafel season here at this reliable outlet towards the bottom of Leather Lane.



Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Scoring

After minutes of rumination we eventually settled on the Balanced Scorecard as the most appropriate method of ranking falafel wraps. The categories took a bit more contemplation but we decided that the lunchtime experience should be divided into two main groups Product and Service and then broken down into the features that were important to us:

Product


  • Ingredients
    • Taste
    • Appearance
    • Freshness
    • Nutrition
    • Quantity
  • Mechanical Properties
    • Structural Integrity
    • Mouthfeel

Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Contenders

Our falafelofficers recently went on a scouting mission and have handpicked 20 contenders for Falafeloff 2013 whether they want to be involved or not.

The criteria for selection was:

As you can see this is a pretty tough set of conditions so we had to bend the rules very slightly on the second point in order to get a wider range of vendors competing.

About Falafeloff

Now London's Leather Lane in Farringdon can at times be a bit of a Middle Eastern minefield when it comes to falafel vendors so this blog seeks to decide once and for all which is the best place to buy your wrap.

With so many different outlets to choose from on the Falafel Furlong it can be a hard decision knowing which one to opt for so rather than waste your time trying them each one, rating them with a balanced scorecard, getting someone else to rate them again with a balanced scorecard, taking an average, comparing it to the competition we thought we'd do this on your behalf (you can thank us later). I mean imagine how you'd feel if you'd spent the last couple of years loyally going to the same shop only to find that two doors down there was a falafel wrap which has been proven to be, on average, 3% better.

That's right, livid.