It's the biggest New York City-related food news to hit Dallas since the Halal Guys opened in mid 2016: Mamoun's Falafel, a beloved NYC shop, is opening officially in Uptown Dallas on Saturday, Feb. 10.
This is the moment where vegetarians, and/or fans of Middle Eastern food, and/or people who love well-known out-of-town restaurants do a happy dance.
Mamoun's is being franchised in Dallas by three brothers operating under the business name Ghassani LLC. Raed Ghassani, who is from Lebanon, has lived in Dallas for 26 years and says he hadn't found Middle Eastern food that reminded him of home until he visited Mamoun's in New York City.
"The first bite of their falafel made me pause. 'Oh my god, this is it!'" he says. "It was so delicious I couldn't get it out of my head."
Mamoun's prides itself on being "New York's oldest falafel restaurant," says a press release. It's a restaurant that's sure to draw crowds when it opens, just like the unaffiliated shop Halal Guys did. (And interestingly, one of the brothers in Ghassani LLC was the operations manager at the Halal Guys in Dallas before leaving to launch Mamoun's.)
Mamoun's has grown to a handful of locations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Mamoun's Falafel in Dallas is the first in Texas and the first in the South. In fact, it's the first outside of the northeast.
Because it's a franchise, Mamoun's Falafels are expected to spring up in other major metropolitan cities soon, including in Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia.
"Their reputation goes way outside of New York," Ghassani says. He hopes to open as many as five Mamoun Falafel shops in cities such as Plano, Addison and Las Colinas.
The fast-casual shop is best known for its vegetarian sandwiches such as falafel, hummus and baba ganouj. Its shawarma, or thinly-sliced lamb, sourced from Australia, is also popular.
The restaurant was established in NYC in 1971 by Mamoun Chater, with recipes from his Syrian family.
The Dallas shop will be open until 3 a.m. on weekends.
On Feb. 10, Mamoun's will be handing out samples and raffling for prizes. Mamoun's Falafel is located at 3839 McKinney Ave., Suite 150, in the West Village development in Uptown Dallas. mamouns.com.