Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chez Hannah

This post initiates a series of Paris posts, where we spent a week for Spring Break. Before our trip, I did a lot of research into places to eat in Paris, including a list of the best croissants and baguettes from Jeff Steingarten's It Must've Been Something I Ate, The Girl Who Ate Everything's "A Very Incomplete Guide to Paris", and David Lebovitz's "10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn't Miss in Paris". Unfortunately, since Devin and I were constantly running around to see the next thing, we did a terrible job of checking out the extensive list of places to eat that I had compiled. Overall though, of the things we had time to eat, they were expectedly delicious.

Robyn, The Girl Who Ate Everything, reviewed Chez Hannah during her Spring Break last year and this ended up being our first meal in Paris. Chez Hannah is located on a pedestrian-only street in Paris' Jewish District. While they have an interior dining room, they also have a to-go window to expedite the many customers flocking to satisfy their pita sandwich needs. The to-go window serves as the assembly line for both dine-in and to-go orders, so we were able to watch our order being made right in front of us.

I ordered the Vegetarian Falafel Special. A component unique to this falafel pita was the fried eggplant. Because eggplant are very absorbent, oil dripped down my chin when I bit into the slices, but the eggplant had been fried long enough to gain a sweet carmelization and the skin was slightly crisp while the interior was mashed-potato soft. It was a succulent addition to one of my favorite dishes. The pita pocket wasn't the thin-walled and fragile bread found in grocery stores, but was hearty and thick enough to withstand the generous helping of hummus, falafel, fried eggplant, cucumber salad, tzatziki sauce, red and green cabbage, and Harissa. The falafel had a crisp exterior and a steaming, fluffy interior that paired well with all the crunchy vegetables and the cool tzatziki.

Devin had the shwarma. While gyros is usually made with pork, shwarma is made with lamb, goat, or chicken. In this case, the shwarma was made with chicken and also had fried eggplant.

Chez Hannah
54 rue des Rosiers
Paris, France


Anonymous said...

Yes, I stayed in the area in July 2008 and returned again and again to eat the best falafel in the world!

Anonymous said...

I have to say they do make the best falafel sandwiches I have ever had. Yet, I went there yesterday and its a lot different from what it used to be: you have to pay inside and then stand in a queue outside after they give you your ticket, and they dont always do it so be careful, plus the guy's hands are not always clean and neat and it happens that hed put some fingers in your pita bread and in his mouth, before touching it again, alas. It used to be cheap (4 euros) and the service was fine and almost gentle but now its expensive (6 euros) and they'll blatantly treat you like crap if the boss is not around.