FALAFEL PALACE

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Business-of-the-Week, Cambridge Chronicle
Ryan Kearney
Moody's Falafel Palace has always been all about the food. After all, this not-so-hidden treasure in Central Square is an intimate spot, to say the least. Housed in a miniature tower of white porcelain brick - a relic of the White Castle hamburger chain - the entire restaurant is about the size of your bedroom. With an eating area not much larger than a king-sized bed. Meanwhile, an incongruous mix of faded awards, still-life prints of flowers, Mediterranean photography and newspaper clips hangs on the walls.
In other words, what Moody's lacks in spaciousness, it makes up for in character - and value. The prices and service compete with nearby fast-food joints, and the food is, some say, better for you. The classic falafel sandwich, for instance, comes in at $4.00 A chicken or lamb shawarma rollup is just 50 cents more, with meat thatÕs been marinated overnight and slowly cooked on a vertical rotisserie.
While Moody's has been a constant since it opened in the early 1980s, the times are a-changin'. Khaled took over for his cousin, founder Moody Kassar, who is retired to his native Syria. Seffo has expanded the menu, offering more soups and salads, as well as pastries and fruit shakes.
With Seffo putting his mark on Moody's, is the restaurant in for a name change?
"NO," he says. shaking his head and frowning. I have to respect the name because he worked hard to build up his reputation. I have to be loyal to my cousin.
The customers, in turn, are loyal to him. Taking a lunch break at Moody's last Thursday. Grant Scott, 44, of Swampscott, says he often works in the area and makes a point to stop in. According to Scott. The homemade pomegranate hot sauce is unbeatable, "I want to buy gallons of it" he said. Seffo blushed, then gave him a pint of it, free of charge.