We've been eating at Amsterdam Falafel since they were an obscure little sandwich shop in Washington, D.C.'s Adams-Morgan. Finding a place for fresh falafel, with a dazzling toppings bar to boot, was life-changing for us back when we were young, poor, and more than a bit tipsy at 1 a.m. Amsterdam subsequently expanded to Davis Square, and today comes news that they're expanding even more throughout the city. Can they grow from a humble indie shop to a chickpea kingpin without going the way of, say, Five Guys, another D.C.-original-turned-conglomerate? We think so, as long as they keep a few helpful tips in mind.
5. Put that shit on a plate. Honestly! The falafel sandwiches are delicious but hard to contain, as they're currently served in a paper pocket no larger than a cocktail napkin. Paired with toppings, it's a drippy disaster.
4. The toppings bar is extensive and awesome, but consider making it its very own station, instead of sandwiching it next to the cash register. Drizzling obscene amounts of hummus on falafel balls is something best done in private.
3. Keep the fry toppings next to the falafel toppings bar. It's so confusing! Right now, you fill up your sandwich and trot to your table, only to discover that there's an entire other secret toppings bar just around the bend with things like garlic mayo and malt vinegar. Then you have to abandon your table, tote your fries across the dining room, and pray nobody snatches your sandwich.
2. Expand to places that need restaurants! Davis is great. We get it: Tufts is there. But please skip the ultra-predictable locations, like, ahem, Kendall.
1. Please, please have more than one person working the counter on busy weeknights.