Maoz Vegetarian is a chain of falafel fast food restaurants, serving purely vegetarian fare with a vision of "spreading the vegetarian lifestyle worldwide". The chain was founded by a husband and wife, Nahman Milo and Sima Bar-On, Israelis, who were living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The first restaurant opened in 1991 on the Reguliersbreestraat, Amsterdam, and the first store outside The Netherlands opened in 1996.
Expansion, by the way of franchise, has been rapid, with at least four stores opening in 2007 alone in Europe, North America, and Australia. The expansion has not been without setbacks. A location in Munich, Germany, which was opened in mid-2006, was closed as of February 2008. Locations in Washington, DC, Hoboken, NJ, and Berkeley, CA also closed after only being open for a few years.
According to the company's website, franchises operating under the brand name are located in the Netherlands (seven stores) as well as several locations in the United States, France (two in Paris), Spain (two in Barcelona and one in Madrid) and the United Kingdom (two in London).
Originally, restaurants offered only falafel, but the menu in some locations has since been expanded to include other vegetarian items, such as pommes frites (Belgian-style French fries). Some locations now offer freshly made juices.
The menu at Maoz consists of two main items, the Maoz Falafel Sandwich and the Maoz Falafel Salad Box. According to the Maoz Website,  the signature Maoz Sandwich consists of a whole-white or white pita bread pocket filled with crispy handmade falafel balls topped with salads and sauces. The Salad Box is a similar concept, with the falafel and toppings offered in a salad bowl as opposed to a pita pocket. The sauces offered range from yogurt, tahini, garlic sauce, or red and green chili. Customers can choose to add premium toppings for an additional cost and have access to the toppings bar, where they can fill their pitas or salad boxes with the items which are all included in the original cost. The salad bar consists of many gluten free and vegan options, such as chopped cucumber and tomato salad, beet salad, pickled carrots, pickled baby eggplant, chickpeas, tabouli, coleslaw, and lightly fried broccoli and cauliflower. The salads, along with the falafel, are prepared fresh daily. Maoz makes an effort to buy produce from local farms and aims to produce their taste and health benefits.
The falafel at Maoz are made from fresh chickpeas ground with herbs, vegetables, and a special blend of spices known by the brand as the "The Maoz Magic Powder." The combination is shaped into small balls and lightly fried in zero-trans fat vegetable oil. Chickpeas are a legume containing protein, fiber, vitamin B, antioxidants, and iron, amongst other health benefits. The falafel at Maoz are gluten-free and prepared fresh for every order.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maoz Vegetarian.|
- Official Site
- Ynet story on the founding and founders of Maoz
- Ha'aretz story on the founding and founders of Maoz