French falafel bar The Ace of Falafel has grown from a hidden falafel outpost in Paris to, perhaps, the city of lights’ most popular purveyor of the Middle Eastern specialty, Jewish News 1 reported.
The kosher shop, boasting fresh ingredients and a secret spice mix recipe, is now a destination for celebrities, Yom-Tov Peretz, the second-generation owner of The Ace of Falafel, said.
“At first, it was Lenny Kravitz who came here. Somebody told him that he had to try our falafel,” Peretz said. “He is a real falafel lover, he eats falafel all over the world when he’s on tour. So he came here and it’s been his favorite spot ever since, he started talking about us in interviews, he said it’s ‘the best falafel in the world’. John Malkovitch, Jamel Debbouze, Gad Elmaleh and many international and French artists eat here.”
Peretz said when his parents started making falafel in their grocery store, Parisians hardly paid attention: “It was a tiny kosher grocery store with a small falafel section. The grocery store was very successful and falafel also gained popularity throughout the years, so we started to make it known to a wider public, both in the Jewish community as well as Chinese, American, and English tourists. Slowly it became a real institution, an essential spot of the Marais district and for tourists from all over the world.”
The restaurateur added that efficient service and client-focused attitude make The Ace of Falafel an easy choice for patrons. “People pay outside. Inside, I have a brigade of seven very efficient waiters. It takes 17 seconds to make a falafel, which means we make five or six sandwiches per minute. The waiting line can be sometimes very long but even if you wait two or three minutes longer than in other restaurants, the truth is that the falafel you’ll have here can’t be compared to any other. I’m not saying that other restaurants are bad, I’m just saying we’re excellent,” he claimed proudly.
Watch the JN1 Interview with Yom-Tov Peretz, second-generation owner of The Ace of Falafel below.