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Best Falafel 

Ray’s Lebanese, Scotia Square food court

Ray Khattar is the king of the Scotia Square food court, tirelessly serving hordes of hungry Haligonians from his Ray’s Lebanese Cuisine kiosk. Although his shop sells several tasty treats—barbecued chicken sandwiches, the combination plate, homemade baclava for dessert—the falafel is the jewel in Ray’s crown. It starts with chick peas (also called garbanzo beans) and fava (or broad) beans, mashed together with fresh herbs—coriander, mint and parsley—and spices. Small balls of the falafel mixture are fried so they’re crunchy outside, soft inside, then rolled into a pita sandwich with tomatoes, a secret tahini sauce and cabbage pickled by Ray. The delicious result has attracted a lot of business over Ray’s 16 years in operation—he once sold 250 falafels in a day—and during an interview, while Ray is describing his art, the steady stream of customers keeps interrupting him. Finally, one asks him when he’s going to expand. “I’m thinking about opening another store,” he confides, and yet another satisfied shopper leaves with a smile.

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