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Checking Up on the House of Falafel Truck
Why is this two-week-old food truck already catching flack? By Anna Spiegel
Comments () | Published August 18, 2011

Falafel, chicken and beef shwarma, stuffed grape leaves, and hummus from House of Falafel. Photograph by Kyle Gustafson

In a self-admittedly uncharacteristic move,  Food Truck Fiesta posted some tough criticism yesterday of the House of Falafel Truck. Among the grievances were a lack of online presence ("They do not announce their locations or even care to interact with their potential fans"), slow service ("I'm talking about 15+ minutes"), and the truck's 1.5 Yelp stars (Meh!).  We dropped by the vendor this afternoon, stationed at Farragut Square, to see what he's up to.

Owner Naceur Negra—who also sells espresso drinks, falafel, and pizza from two popular food carts on George Washington University's campus, A La Cart and Expresso & More—admits to long wait times just after opening two weeks ago. But he says that he and his two-man team have gotten quicker with practice. The service wasn't warp speed on today's visit, but we saw customers receive food within five minutes of paying.

As for not joining the social media-happy food truck scene, Negra doesn't seem to be intentionally shunning his fellow vendors or potential customers. "I don't trust technology that much, so I wanted to see how it would work without it," says Negra, who is still contemplating a Facebook page.

The appearance of the truck, which also came under scrutiny, is still in the works. Negra admits its current look is "a little sketchy." But if the venture proves popular, he hopes to get a more higher-end design than the clip-art picture of a chef he posted in his window (which, in response to the criticism, he turned into a plastic logo on the side of the van).

"I have to test the market first," says Negra. "I can't invest thousands of dollars right away like other people."

So is there room in the food truck scene for a non-tweeting vendor? A lot comes down to food, and Negra's isn't all "meh." On a combination platter with mixed salad, hummus, falafel balls, and a mix of chicken and beef shwarma over rice, only the stringy slices of beef were disappointing.

Look for the House of Falafel Truck on weekdays in Farragut and Franklin squares, or in L'Enfant Plaza.

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  • chell

    I personally do not choose a truck by its graphic art but instead by the menu options. Down a row of at least 4 similar menus at farragut square, House of Falafel had the combination that most appealed to me (veggie platter). I do not recall how long I waited as it was a sunny day and I was reading a book enjoying the fresh air. When they handed me my container I almost dropped it as I was unprepared for its weight. For $8 I my plate was piled high with salad, couscous, roasted veggies, 2 stuffed grape leaves, pita, hummus, and 5 falafel balls as well as two dipping sauces. My only complaint is my lack of restraint as I ate it ALL and am stuffed. Definitely enough for two or more people. I will certainly visit this truck again and appreciate the owners practical business sense. Who needs to tweet when all the trucks gather together?

  • joerge henk

    Falafel sandwich Philadelphia is a most preferable sandwich among customers and Makkah Market is famous for providing Halal products, Islamic Clothing, Islamic Books and many more Islamic items in Philadelphia.

    Falafel sandwich Philadelphia

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Posted at 03:00 PM/ET, 08/18/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs