I confess, I’m a foodie but I’m also a relatively new foodie, in terms of international cuisine.

I’m pretty well-versed in Thai, real Chinese, Haitian/Caribbean, and other such foods but when it comes to Middle Eastern food, I’m at a complete loss. I don’t even know the time of day there! Well, time to change all that while I’m in Vienna. Vienna has a high Turkish population from what it seems like; there are a lot of street stands that sell kebabs and durums and even a predominantly Turkish market, called the Brunnen Markt. The only Middle Eastern I’d had before this trip was kebab so the first week I was here, I tried a durum from a street stand.

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Exhibit 1: Durum

Exhibit 1: Durum

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It’s kebab meat (something that one of my friends here is very suspicious of, “who knows HOW long that kebab meat has been there!” but I seem to have an iron stomach *knock on wood* so I don’t quite care) inside of a wrap, with fresh lettuce and a white sauce that seems suspiciously yogurt-based. But what do I know about it? Sadly, durum then became limited to drunk night binges when it was the only thing available on the streets. I figured, it was time to hit up authenticity.

One of my friends from school is from Turkey and he’s also on our program here. A few weeks ago, he took me to this place called Maschu Maschu for my first falafel experience.

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Exhibit 2: My First Falafel (Teller)

Exhibit 2: My First Falafel (Teller)

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I ordered something called a falafel teller. I still have no idea exactly what this is, but it seemed like a lot of delicious kebab meat, falafel, a tangy-vinegar red cabbage salad, yogurt-based sauce, and another type of salad. However, a quick search on Google reveals that I am completely wrong on the yogurt-based count, and it turns out that it is, in fact, a Tahini-based sauce. In Layman’s terms, Tahini is a sesame seed paste. I now am confused how this relates to hummus (which I’ve had before) but that’s a story for another day.

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Exhibit 3: Falafel and Tahini Close-up

Exhibit 3: Falafel and Tahini Close-up

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The prices were reasonable, although… I don’t pay as much attention to how much I actually pay for food as I should. But this meal was roughly around 7 Euros, which should be about 10 U.S. dollars, and that was including a large drink.

All in all, not bad for my first falafel experience. I can’t say how authentic it is, besides the fact that a Turkish friend took me, and he approved of it. To me, it was extremely delicious. The falafel was crispy on the outside, and the chickpeas (which is what isĀ  inside a falafel, according to Wikipedia) were distinct enough that they weren’t just a mush. I do love red cabbage, and the vinegar that had brined it complemented its natural crunchyness and taste. It came with a flattened bread (no idea of the name or origins). I’ve also had enough kebab meat to know that if it’s done the wrong way, the ends can be dried out and the inside more like jerky than anything that resembles meat. But the kebab meat in this dish was done in a succulent way, so much so that I wanted more. And, now that I’ve written this entry, I want to go back already!

Maschu Maschulocated in the 1st district of Vienna

Address: Rabensteig 8, 1010 Wien

Open: Sunday – Wednesday, 11.30 am – Midnight;

Thursday – Saturday, 11.30 am – 4 am

Have you had Middle Eastern food (specifically, falafel) before? What has your experience been like?

Yupgi Girl.