March 09, 2011
41-B George St. (Downtown)
Dutch-style fried potatoes topped with authentic sauces, fresh falafel from scratch, and a garden salad bar.
Taking over the George Street storefront once inhabited by a pizza chain, Patat Spot Friet & Falafel offers "European street food," inspired by the friets and falafel you'd find in Holland. Owner Phillis Kalisky Mair may likely be the one taking your order, wearing the same uniform as her employees and offering utterly charming service. The menu has expanded since they first opened, now featuring a veggie dog and beef shawarma in addition to the falafel we've all come to love, plus fries and oliebollen, a Dutch take on fried dough. It's a very customizable place. For the falafel, you can choose from over 20 toppings at their veggie bar, which includes greens, pickled veggies, tahini, and lots more. There's a menu of special fry preparations, inspired by European and Southern flavors, but even just the standard saté sauce is addictive (or you can choose the mayo-like option). —Susan Cohen, Dish (Summer 2012)
susieg says... You Say Potato They Say Friet.. I was quick to find that this is a very long name for a very small restaurant. Located at 41B George Street in the midst of other college favorites lies Patat Spot Friet & Falafel. The owner is of Dutch heritage but was born and raised right here in Charleston and the restaurant is dubbed a “European Snack Bar”. We were curious and decided to give it a try. The restaurant is painted a bright yellow and adorned with Parisian landmarks. We found it to be both warm and welcoming. The service style is a walk up ordering system. You can get a regular or half pita filled with a cilantro, mint and bean combo or a large one. We both opted for the half pita. The service and staff were very friendly, knowledgeable, and our lunch was served quickly. The odd thing is that the falafel a cilantro-mint-bean-chick pea combo is served within the pita and looks like a small hockey puck. My husband liked it, but it really didn’t blow my dress up. The good thing is that they offer a salad bar type of toppings that you can add to your pita. We were told that many of the items on the topping bar were from the “pickle lady” at the market. They were all fresh and very inviting. We were quick to stuff our pita with these unique toppings. The disappointment, unfortunately, were the French fries or Friets as they call them. Billed as potatoes imported from Belgium and “twice fried” for crispness, ours did not fit the bill. They were not served in the unique cone that we saw, but rather placed in one of our plates with the half pita, lukewarm and mushy - very disappointing. And they were $6.25, which think is a bit steep for friets. I can say that we really liked the “toppings bar” and its freshness. We also enjoyed the choice of 15 dipping sauces that come with the friets. The spicy sriracia and Indonesian ketchup were a treat!! I can’t say that I would return, but only because falafels aren’t something that I personally like, but I would encourage others to give it a try and hope that the restaurant does well. ★★★★★
eastoak says... We were there on opening day so it should get better as they iron out a few things. That being said, as another reviewer commented the frites were less than hot. This is due to the frites being staged on the counter next to the cash register with no warming plate or lamp, while they wait for their falafel brethren to join them. My wife and I were excited to hear of Patat Spot's opening as we were frite fanatics during our time in Seattle. Unfortunately the frites we were served Saturday did not measure up to our previous frite experiences. They lacked the characteristic crunchy exterior accomplished by the double frying technique. They did not seem double fried. They were exactly like the fries I make at home. Good, but not frites. Just french fries. The falafel. The two fried balls for $8 arrived inside half a pita shell. Seemed a bit steep. The price point would have been more acceptable if the falafel was really good, but it lacked a robust falafel flavor. We couldn't quite identify what was missing. The accompanying "Salad Spot" offered an impressive selection of condiments and toppings for both the frites and falafel. The decor is pleasant and the service is friendly and welcoming. We'll be back in a couple of weeks for round two. We expect it will be a top notch experience next time. ★★★★★
businessgurl says... Extremely overpriced. Pretentious presentation of menu. Stick to Charlie's Grocer if you want authentic falafel. ★★★★★
True, the name Patat Spot may sound like the results from your last gynecological visit, but don't let that stand in your way of hitting up Charleston's newest friets and falafel hangout. This place does fries the Dutch way, with enough condiments to fill the Amstel River. We're talking mayo and fry sauce, spicy sriracha sauce, cucumber and lime juice and mango chutney and every other kind of dip imaginable. In fact, folks haven't been this excited about dipping since Freak Nasty's Da Dip. I know, I'm excited about it too.