Elsa’s is a delightful hole-in-the-wall Iraqi bakery that specializes in a pita-esque flatbread called samoon; you can get it on its own (you should do this) or stuffed with shawarma or falafel (you should do this too).
This is the latest hidden gem I’ve discovered thanks to the inimitable Suresh Doss, and like basically everything he writes about, it’s great.
It’s that bread. It’s chewy, fluffy, flavourful, and amazing. It’s tasty as part of a sandwich, but it’s also pretty damn good on its own.
I got the falafel sandwich, which comes with the usual toppings, along with the delightful addition of eggplant and fries. The last time I had eggplant in a falafel sandwich was at L’As du Fallafel in Paris, and I’m starting to seriously wonder why every falafel sandwich doesn’t have eggplant in it. It’s a fantastic addition.
The other thing that stands out is the sauce they top it with, called amba — it’s a mango-based sauce, and it’s sweet, sour, tangy, and delicious, with a mildly curry-tinged flavour. It’s not a subtle sauce; its intense zippiness completely dominated the other flavours in the sandwich, but it’s so tasty that this barely felt like an issue.