Thursday, December 22, 2011

Falafel at La Mia In Laurel

Falafel at La Mia in Laurel
Hot falafel falls among the perfect street foods -- piping chick pea fritters wrapped in pita bread and augmented with some shredded salad, a touch of hot sauce, and a creamy sauce to bring it all together.

(Update:  Sorry.  La Mia closed.)

The new La Mia restaurant on Main Street in Laurel kicks out a nice falafel sandwich.  It's certainly the rival of anything that I have found inside Howard County, so it's worth a quick drive into Laurel, especially if you want to nose around the Aladdin Food Market next door or pick up something from the Laurel Meat Market.

La Mia is a new takeout following the trend of serving pizza and an ethnic food.  At La Mia, the ethnic food is mostly Middle Eastern, including a few special-order items like masakhan, ka'ik, and maoul that looked new to me and that Wikipedia says are Palestinian dishes.

I want La Mia to be terrific because they're really nice.  For now, I recommend the falafel sandwich.  The falafel comes out hot and flavorful -- right in that "Goldilocks" moistness where it isn't too greasy and it isn't too dry.  The sandwich had lettuce, mildly hot peppers, some hot sauce and a really nice sauce.  I suggest that you request pita bread because they wrapped mine once in a tortilla, which was all kinds of "American fusion" wonderful but not nearly as delicious.

I'm going to go back and try the schwarma again.  We ordered it with high hopes because La Mia has real meat turning on a spit in the open kitchen.  But our order didn't work.  The restaurant was freezing cold, and we got an aluminum takeout tray with lettuce and a few ounces of shaved, unremarkable meat. They were so nice, and we were too cold to argue.  I'm going to try again.

Where do you go for falafel or schwarma?  I don't have a place in Howard County, maybe because I have a few amazing sandwiches in my memory that set the standard.  I don't want just a pile of lettuce, a pita from the bag, and the main item dumped on top.  A few people have mentioned Turkshish Kebap in Columbia.

La Mia
310 Main Street
Laurel, MD 20707

NEAR:  This is on Main Street in Laurel a few doors west of U.S. 1.  You can park on Main Street anywhere between U.S. 1 and Laurel Meat Market.  The Aladdin market next to La Mia sells Middle Eastern groceries and breads.  Laurel Meat Market butchers its own steaks, ground beef and sausage.


Matt Boyle said...

Is this where Pal Jacks Pizza used to be?

stephanie said...

not necessarily Palestinian: Kaik is a dessert frequently eaten by Middle Eastern Christians at Easter - particularly those from Syria and Lebanon; Masakhan is often considered the Arab spring roll -it is common in many Arab countries as well as Egypt; not sure about Maoul unless the same as Mammoul which are very common Middle Eastern date cookies - common as far east as India and found in many Indian stores - Middle Eastern foods are similar from region to region, sometimes with slight variations

HowChow said...

@Unknown -- Yes. This is the brick building that used to Pal Jacks.

Morty Abzug said...

Pita & Rye also has falafel and schwarma.

Morty Abzug said...

Thanks for the note about La Mia. I tried their falafel. Good stuff.

David G. said...

Should a customer return when the shwarma is great — but the service is horrible?

I went shortly after 1 p.m. on a Wednesday, presumably post-lunch rush, not a customer in sight. I ordered the shwarma and was told be the young woman at the counter that it'd be a few minutes.

Thirty minutes later, no exaggeration, I got my food. I'd been told twice during that span that it'd be a few more minutes. I never got an explanation of why it was taking so long, or options of whether I'd want to order something else. I just sat. Thank goodness for smart phones.

The shwarma itself was delicious, particularly with the spicy sauce that was put on. This was a relief, not just because of the wait, but because of the absolute disappointment that had been Pita and Rye's falafel and shwarma.

What would you do? Return and hope that the service is better the next time?

Dalia H. - Laurel said...

That young lady no longer works there. The guy that works the day now is really nice and quick with the food. Also, he seems to know a little more about the items. I recommend you try them again in a couple of days. (they ran out of shawarma today, but he promised they would have it by Monday)

Morty Abzug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Morty Abzug said...

Bad news. La Mia has discontinued their falafel, shwarma, and most of their other Middle Eastern items. They do have gyros. And, of course, they continue to carry pizza and other foods typical of pizza joints.

The guy behind the counter said they discontinued falafel and shwarma because the items weren't selling well enough. He had sometimes had the shwarma move so slowly that it went bad, while he could sell 30 pounds of gyros in a day.

Jennifer said...

I would really like to know where to get good falafel in the area. Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance!

Morty Abzug said...

Jennifer: no promises on the quality, but try Rudy's Diner and Kebab House.