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Yair Marinov, Chief Operating Officer of Maoz Vegetarian.Interviewed by Cynthia Mosher, Editor of VegFamily
Maoz Vegetarian is a new Netherlands-based fast-food falafel place offering "the best option for healthy and inexpensive nosh." Here's our interview with chief operating officer, Yair Marinov.
Welcome to VegFamily Yair. Can you give us a bit of history? How and where did the Maoz sandwich get started?
The first Maoz branch was opened in 1991 in Amsterdam, Holland. The motivator behind this pioneer shop was the idea that it was time Dutch people were introduced to a new and nutritious vegetarian dish. Customers were served a pita-sandwich with daily-fresh, handmade falafel-balls fried in vegetable oil, topped with freshly made salads and sauces of their choice.
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Sure enough, the Maoz sandwich became a huge success in Amsterdam, leading to the expansion of Maoz both nationally and internationally. Today, Maoz shops can be found throughout major cities in Europe, the United States and Asia..
Is "Maoz" a word with meaning? Or just a name you came up with for the sandwich?
Maoz doesn't have any particular meaning.
What sets Maoz apart from other restaurants, vegetarian or otherwise?
Maoz provides an exciting new concept by understanding that today's lifestyle is more demanding than ever, leaving almost no time to take care of the fundamentals such as maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle, including a nutritious diet.
Maoz Vegetarian emphasizes critical aspects of eating right such as freshness, all-natural ingredients, and delicious food. Customers are provided with the highest quality of products and services at a reasonable price and in minimum time, fitting into each and everybody's busy day and night.
The restaurant is also an exciting new concept in the world of dining. Maoz is one of the only worldwide vegetarian chains in existence and is hoping to spread the idea that it is easy to be vegetarian and eat well.
Why chickpeas? And what the heck are "Belgian Fries?"
Falafel is both filling and adaptable. It's a great vegetarian option that leaves a person completely satisfied while tasting delicious. In addition it goes great with all sorts of toppings and sauces and it still taste really good while providing variety.
Belgian Fries are a thick cut version of the French fries Americans have come to know and love. They are traditionally made to order and served in a paper cone with a sauce of choice (typically Mayonnaise in Belgium.) At Maoz the cone is the same but all the sauces are on the side.
What sort of items do you have on your menu?
The menu is centered around falafel, offering a sandwich or a salad. Each restaurant has a salad bar offering toppings such as dill pickles, carrot salad, roasted cauliflower and broccoli, pickled baby eggplant, green & black olives, tabouli salad, tomato salad, cucumber and dill, several fresh sauces, and much more that can be put on the salad or sandwich.
In addition to the salad bar there are add-ons like eggplant, avocado, and feta, as well as an array of fresh juices and of course the Belgian fries.
How many restaurants are currently open and how might someone find a restaurant near them?
There are 20 outlets worldwide with 4 in the US. The newest location will be opening in New York City on 2047 A Broadway this fall. There are also new locations in the works for Florida and DC with prospects in Boston, LA, and San Francisco. (Maoz is always looking for experienced operators to open new franchises as well.) All one has to do is pop over to the website www.maozveg.com to check out a location near them.
Visit www.maozusa.com (your kids will love the fun website!) to locate restaurants in the US and other countries