Please note: This article was first published on The Vegan Tourist and last updated August 9, 2011.
Maoz Vegetarian is a vegetarian fast food chain, where the menu is built around falafels: ground chickpeas mixed with vegetables, herbs, and spices (formed into balls and fried in vegetable oil).
Maoz is not a vegan restaurant chain, they do offer feta cheese and yoghurt sauces, but most of the food at this restaurant chain is indeed vegan.
In Manhattan, there are currently six restaurants; I ate lunch at the Times Square branch. The location is very convenient for tourists, but the restaurant is tiny and take-out only. They do have a small counter in one corner, where two people can put down their food and eat standing up, which is what I did; but that’s it. This location also doesn’t have customer bathrooms. If you want to sit down to enjoy your lunch, you’re better off choosing one of the other locations, most of which have some sort of in-store seating (I don’t know about bathroom facilities).
But let’s talk about the food.
I loved it. Make no mistake, this is a fast food chain: I ordered the “Meal Deal,” which consists of a falafel sandwich (pita bread) with eggplant and hummus, a side order of fries, and a drink.
French fries are never healthy, and I also chose white pita bread (instead of whole-wheat) and lemonade as a drink (freshly squeezed orange juice would have been an option). So this was clearly not the healthiest of lunches; but I chose Maoz exactly for that reason – I was in the mood for French fries, and the fries at Maoz – a mixture of potato and sweet potato fries – were delicious.
At Maoz, the fries are not served with hamburgers, but with falafel sandwiches and hummus and salad. That’s so much better, healthier – and vegan, too.
They also offer a variety of salads, one of their other “Meal Deals” is centered around a salad box.
The bill came to $ 9.45 plus tax and a small tip (for counter service), which wasn’t expensive as portion sizes are very generous. That day, I just ate a couple of pieces of fruit for dinner, because I was still quite full several hours later from my big lunch.
There are photos of the different Maoz Vegetarian branches on the company’s Website, and there are also photographs of the food online. I particularly like that they publish their nutritional charts, as well as a list of possible food allergens. The menu is also available online.
Address for the Times Square branch: 558 7th Avenue (Corner of 40th Street), Manhattan
Opening hours at Times Square: Monday through Thursday 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM; Friday and Saturday: open until 2: 00 AM, Sunday: open until midnight.