In March 2002, I visited Cairo and ate amazing felafel in an admittedly unstylish cafeteria-esque restaurant called Al-Tabie Ad-Domyati. I went back several times during my stay because the felafel was freshly made and super crispy outside and just all-around great. (As a side note, the internet tells me that Al-Tabie Ad-Domyati now delivers within Cairo and has a full, interactive menu on-line.)

Today, I stopped for a quick lunch at Roti. Once I understood and got over the fact that there is no roti on the menu, I decided I was okay with Mediterranean food. The menu offered two options for non-meat centerpieces for your salad, sandwich, or platter: felafel and roasted vegetables. (The 2nd strike against the restaurant was that the woman behind me in line ordered salmon on her salad, which caused me to double-check that salmon was indeed not listed on the menu, and so apparently only available to those in the know.) I ordered felafel on a salad. It was awful. Gummy inside, not flavorful, and with no discernible crispiness to its shell. If I ever visit a Roti again, I’m ordering the secret salmon instead.

The Al-Tabie Ad-Domyati menu describes their felafel as a “mixture of fava beans + onions + spring onions + leeks + stale bread + coriander, made into fried patties.” Roti doesn’t offer the ingredients of their felafel, but I’m not trying to re-create that anyways. My go to cookbook for such things, Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian, surprisingly offers no felafel recipe. She does have a black-eyed pea fritter recipe which she says is simlar to felafel, that includes black-eyed peas + onions + salt + pepper + cayenne fried in oil.

  • Where’s your favorite felafel?
  • Have you ever made it (or similar fritters) at home?
  • Will Madhur Jaffrey release the last ten years of her felafel recipe?
  • Should I give Roti a 2nd chance?


As you can see from some photos I took today, Metro uses various and different abbreviations to label the levels in its elevators. In one trip, for instance, I experienced the following illogical labeling:

At Farragut North station:

  • To ride from the train to the fare gates, you move from T (Trains) to M (Mezzanine)
  • To ride from the fare gates to the street level exit, you move from T (Trains?) to S (Street)

At Dupont Circle Station:

  • To ride from the train to the fare gates, you move from T (Trains) to E (Exit?)
  • To ride from the fare gates to the street level exit, you move from M (Mezzanine) to S (Street)

I seem to recall other stations (maybe NOMA-Gallaudet?) that use P for Platform as well. Why so random, Metro?

This is the most obvious example of a phenomenon that you can see at metro elevators around the system: small print, dark print with unclear labeling and several equally sized and colored buttons makes it really difficult to tell which button is the button to call the elevator. Station agents must be so annoyed with how many folks accidentally hit the emergency call button instead.

P7078233 by Jzimbabwe
P7078233, a photo by Jzimbabwe on Flickr.

C.J. left this cup with about an inch of ice water in it in the cupholder of her carseat on Friday night after dinner. On Saturday–not quite 24 hours later–this is what we found: dry as a bone and misshapen, with the edge of the lid completely flattened out. I guess our car was hot inside.