We wound our way through tiny, cobblestoned streets that smelled like smoke and coffee and the acrid scent of city in summer. We were looking for falafel. We were in Paris. I was thirteen. I can’t say for sure, but I’m relatively certain I had never had falafel before. There were no purveyors of the sublime little fried balls of spiced chickpeas and herbs on our tiny island in the middle of the Pacific. We’d been advised to find the best falafel in Paris right here, in these narrow byways of the quatrième arrondissement, the Marais.

My wait in line outside the tiny, street-facing window of L'As du Fallafel was my very first foray into cult-food-lining. 5am cronut lines were just a twinkle in our current food-obsessed culture’s eye, and yet there we were, salivating as we anticipated placing a frenzied order in the awkward Franglish we possessed. But order we did, and I watched in delight as they piled eggplant, hummus, yogurt, pickled peppers, bright magenta cabbage, tahini, and, of course, falafel, into a pliant, warm pita.

Read more and make these chickpea and baba ganoush wraps at home: Recipe here.