Hoboken Health Corner: April 2011

Influx of Falafel choices in Hoboken

By Leslie Goldstein, RD

Interested in the new craze hitting Washington Street lately?

Falafel and Mediterranean cuisine has become the newest trend in Hoboken. With an influx of restaurants there’s no doubt that some of you are confused about this new trend in addition to which new restaurant to try out first!

What is Falafel?

First off, some background information. Falafel is known as one of the national foods of Middle Eastern countries including Israel, Greece and Lebanon.

Falafel is made of either a combination of chickpeas and fava beans or one of the beans on their own grounded and combined with garlic, herbs and spices. They are then baked, sautéed or fried using oil. If canola oil or olive oil is used the food has virtually no saturated fat. Falafel is a lean protein source, providing fewer calories per serving than meat or chicken. It is also high in fiber, which may help lower cholesterol, reduce weight and reduce risk of disease such as diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, falafel contains B vitamins, iron, zinc and potassium!

It is typically served in a pita with salad, tabouli, and hummus, tahini or yogurt sauce. It can alternatively be served over salad without pita. The only downside nutritionally, is that it can be fried in some restaurants- adding calories, saturated fat and trans fat, in some cases.

Falafel Nutrition

On average, a falafel sandwich in a pita has approximately 500 calories, 12 grams of fiber and 20 grams of protein. Forget the pita and have the falafel over salad and subtract 200 calories from the meal. Add on sides and sauces and be prepared to add on calories as well as flavor (below values are approximate)

  • 2 Tablespoons tahini sauce: 90 calories
  • 2 Tablespoons hummus: 40 calories
  • 2 Tablespoons yogurt sauce: 20 calories
  • Side order beet salad- 20 calories
  • Side order tabouli: 50 calories

Falafel Hot Spots in Hoboken

FALAFEL POLL:

What is your favorite falafel in Hoboken?

View Results

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In Hoboken lately, your options are numerous in choosing the perfect place for lunch or dinner if you crave, or are just intrigued, in falafel.

See below for a selection of Hoboken falafel hot spots, which, by the way are all in a few block radius of each other (except the Pita Truck!)

So feel free to do a taste test one day down Washington Street!

About Leslie Goldstein, RD

Leslie Goldstein is a Registered Dietitian (RD) practicing in North Bergen and Hoboken, New Jersey. Leslie is an avid exerciser who combines her nutrition knowledge and passion with motivational support in counseling to help her clients make lifestyle changes. Leslie specializes in weight management, general wellness, Diabetes, bariatric surgery, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Leslie accepts most major insurances. www.healthystepnutrition.com 8100 Kennedy Blvd. North Bergen, NJ 07047 Ph: 201-378-3287 Email: LeslieGoldsteinRD@gmail.com

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9 Comments on "Hoboken Health Corner: April 2011"

elainetyger
Member
elainetyger

You forgot Ali Baba on 9th & Washington… falafel and many other Middle Eastern foods. I’ve been eating there for many years and have never been disappointed or found the cook having an off night.

coolerking101
Member
coolerking101

See link below regarding the nutritional value of Mamouns’ falafel . Not exactly “health food” …..though it sure is tasty:

livestrong.com/thedailyplate/nutrit...d/mamouns-falafel/falafel-sandwich/

jonnyc
Member
jonnyc

I wonder how accurate that is. Wouldn’t be surprised though; natural ingredients =/= “health” food, in most people’s definition of the term.

My recommendation for a healthy option at Mamoun’s: Chicken kabob sandwich, no sauce. Still excellent.[quote comment=”206313″]See link below regarding the nutritional value of Mamouns’ falafel . Not exactly “health food” …..though it sure is tasty:[/quote]

mooshu
Member
mooshu

Am I the only one here who finds falafel not particularly exciting? Of course I’m not surprised that we have about six options (and growing) for falafel-dining in this mile-square but still… Even the Israelis I know in town don’t typically make this stuff at home.

I love chickpeas and fava beans and pretty much everything it takes to make falafel and hummus, though. Beans in general are protein-rich.

I think the best hummus is served by the Hummus Bar, but it’s not hard to make. Sorry to be a pooper but it’s true!

bradski
Member
bradski

Falafel makes me gag on it’s own. You have to drown it in sauces and toppings. At which point I can just eat everything but the falafel. A veggie sandwich. I’ll eat a protein bar for dessert.[quote comment=”206306″]Am I the only one here who finds falafel not particularly exciting? Of course I’m not surprised that we have about six options (and growing) for falafel-dining in this mile-square but still… Even the Israelis I know in town don’t typically make this stuff at home.I love chickpeas and fava beans and pretty much everything it takes to make falafel and hummus, though. Beans in general are protein-rich. I think the best hummus is served by the Hummus Bar, but it’s not hard to make. Sorry to be a pooper but it’s true![/quote]

Bullbreed333
Member
Bullbreed333

The freshest falafel is definitely from Hummus bar. I’ve tried a lot of it over the years, and that place is maybe the best I’ve had yet. They also have the proper portion sizes down, not too huge and not too small.

I was disappointed with Maoz, was hoping it would be better than it is.

But, regardless of which I like better- I think it’s great to have healthier options for food in this town. I even think there could be a slightly higher end, non-hippie vegetarian restaurant that could do well here at this point.

homeworld
Member

Greece is a Middle Eastern country?

Anyway, my vote goes to Mamouns Falafel.

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