Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

God-With-A-Sense-of-Humor at King O Felafel in Orlando

After driving seven and a half hours to get to the convention hotel, AdventureMan and I needed dinner! We settled in to our hotel and took a quick look at the menu – nope. We needed something comforting, something familiar. And there it was, just one minute, I am not kidding, from our hotel, the King O Felafel.

God-with-a-sense-of-humor had plopped us splat down in a hotel in the middle of Middle-Eastern-Land. Minutes from Disney, minutes from all the shoddy tackiness of Orlando, we find ourselves “home.”

The King O Felafel’s shop was full of regulars, including one very large family taking up about five tables all put together, and having a wonderful time. The King himself makes his own felafels, using that little felafel making tool, he was so quick. The was clean clean clean, and service was quick.

We started with lentil soup, and I ordered the Vegetarian Platter (which was like a mezze) and AdventureMan ordered a Felafel Sandwich.

Oh, how we have been yearning for the simple joy of a felafel sandwich done right. The King O Felafel was heaven for us.


Thank goodness I remembered to take a picture before we demolished the entire platter!

00King O Felafel Mezze

So simple, so good. A homemade felafel. Perfection.

00King O Felafel Sandwich

00KingOFelafel Salad

This shop is not undiscovered. He has a large clientele of all kinds of people who appreciate superb food, beautifully and tastily prepared.

Across the street from the King O Felafel is a mosque which also has a gym and a meeting hall. There are several other ‘Mediterranean’ restaurants nearby, and several hookah lounges. There are so many shops in this little area of Kissimmee with ‘halal’ foods and even groceries selling halal meats. Wow.

Mosque – my photo was blurry, so I grabbed this from Google Maps. I guess it used to be a computer shop; now it has arabic writing on it and a sign that says it is the AMYL Center (Masjid Shadi)

Screen shot 2013-10-24 at 4.33.11 PM




October 25, 2013 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Eating Out, Food, Humor, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel


  1. Lucky you! The pictures made me hungry. Living in Ramallah for a year and a half got me good and addicted to Middle Easter foods. I make my own hummus all the time, and crave a good schwarma! I’m now living in the south of France and am on the hunt!

    Comment by Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane | October 27, 2013 | Reply

  2. Oh! Miss Footloose! Southern France . . . Cassoulet! Bouillabaisse! Aioli! I am GREEN with envy!

    I also make hummos, and baba ghannoush, and a lot of the grain dishes I learned in Jordan and Syria, but good felafel – it makes a difference making it fresh, and knowing just how to do it. The oil makes a difference, and so does the amount of parsley. It is a lot of trouble, and I rarely get it right. It was wonderful to walk in and get hot, fresh felafel, real ones!

    South France has a large ‘Mediterannean’ population ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I would look around Toulouse. . . Where are you?

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 27, 2013 | Reply

  3. All those middle eastern people must be sent packing to the middle east together with their halal food

    Comment by daggero | October 28, 2013 | Reply

  4. I don’t think they are Middle East people any more, Daggero. I believe they are Americans! ๐Ÿ™‚ Their children are native American speakers. Florida seems to be Middle-East friendly. Many customers looked Middle Eastern, but were clearly second, maybe third generation American, bringing their friends in for lunch (I ate there more than once) ๐Ÿ™‚

    AM and I wondered . . . yes, we see halal signs, but in many of these restaurants, even vegetables are cooked with pork – pork and beans, green beans often have ham . . . many sandwiches include bacon . . . and cooking utensils are not kept separate in the kitchen. Is it a big problem when Moslems travel to find food they are sure is halal?

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 28, 2013 | Reply

  5. If it is halal resturant it should remain true to its name.

    The owner should not even bring pork products in his shop in the first place nevermind cooking or serving it , even when the cooking ware is seperate , or the hot plate separate . There are beef products like beef bacon , or suasages , so that could be it. Maybe it is worth asking the chef about the meat that look Oniky.

    Muslims are allowed to eat the food of the Christian and Jew as long as it is not what they have been forbidden to eat in Islam ( like pork or food cooked with wine ) so that does make it easier for them when they travel abroad .

    Comment by daggero | October 30, 2013 | Reply

  6. Daggero, kosher requires that meat and milk cooking utensils be kept separate in the kitchen, and meat is never to be cooked in the milk of it’s mother, i.e. you can’t cook beef in cow milk. Is it the same in Islam?

    I assume a halal restaurant is halal, but what about all the Applebees, and Chilis, and MacDonalds, etc, restaurants that might obey one set of rules in Kuwait, and another totally different set of rules in the USA?

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 30, 2013 | Reply

  7. In Islam it is not as restricted in the way of cooking as it is in Judaism , as long as the utensils are clean then tha’ts just fine , i haven’t heard of separation of any food groups .

    We have restrictions in what kind of meat we are allowed to slaughter and eat , the main Ones are as per the following :

    ุญูุฑู‘ูู…ูŽุชู’ ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ูƒูู…ู ุงู„ู’ู…ูŽูŠู’ุชูŽุฉู ูˆูŽุงู„ู’ุฏู‘ูŽู…ู ูˆูŽู„ูŽุญู’ู…ู ุงู„ู’ุฎูู†ู’ุฒููŠุฑู ูˆูŽู…ูŽุง ุฃูู‡ูู„ู‘ูŽ ู„ูุบูŽูŠู’ุฑู ุงู„ู„ู‘ู‡ู ุจูู‡ู ูˆูŽุงู„ู’ู…ูู†ู’ุฎูŽู†ูู‚ูŽุฉู ูˆูŽุงู„ู’ู…ูŽูˆู’ู‚ููˆุฐูŽุฉู ูˆูŽุงู„ู’ู…ูุชูŽุฑูŽุฏู‘ููŠูŽุฉู ูˆูŽุงู„ู†ู‘ูŽุทููŠุญูŽุฉู ูˆูŽู…ูŽุง ุฃูŽูƒูŽู„ูŽ ุงู„ุณู‘ูŽุจูุนู ุฅูู„ุงู‘ูŽ ู…ูŽุง ุฐูŽูƒู‘ูŽูŠู’ุชูู…ู’ ูˆูŽู…ูŽุง ุฐูุจูุญูŽ ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ู†ู‘ูุตูุจู ูˆูŽุฃูŽู† ุชูŽุณู’ุชูŽู‚ู’ุณูู…ููˆุงู’ ุจูุงู„ุฃูŽุฒู’ู„ุงูŽู…ู ุฐูŽู„ููƒูู…ู’ ููุณู’ู‚ูŒ(3) ” ุณูˆุฑุฉ

    Surrat Al ma eidah ( The Table ) verse 3

    , 1- Not to eat dead animals meat carcass ( excluding sea food and fish) ,’

    2- Not to eat raw blood ,

    3- Not to eat pig or its product such as lard ..etc

    4- Not to eat meat of animals that were slaughtered by saying the name of Other than Allah on them while being slaughtered such as (offering to an idol ,or Buddha for example , or other worshipped gods or persons ) or the like.

    5- Not to eat choked to death animals

    6- Not to eat meat of animals that were stoned ,or beaten to death ,

    7- Not to eat meat of Animals that died by ramming or butt headed by other animals

    8 – Not to eat what the Beasts have eaten ( such as the prey of the lion , other predatory animals ) unless it is still alive then it is ok to slaughter it and eat it

    9- Not to eat meat of animals that have been slaughtered on altars and shrines

    Inshallah i will come back on the second part of your question


    Comment by daggero | November 3, 2013 | Reply

  8. Wow. Great answer, Daggero, very complete. As I read it, I am astounded – and maybe I shouldn’t be – at how similar the kosher and halal laws are when it comes to meat. Reading the early books in the bible you come across that prohibition against eating food offered to idols frequently – most often ba’al, at that time.

    Although I admit I do like a bit of bacon, I pause. There seem to be a lot of pork-related problems; there seem to be health problems related to both pork and to pork farms. Pigs are often suspected as vectors in the outbreak of swine-flu-like epidemics . . .

    I also remember that there were Muslims in some countries we lived in who wouldn’t eat shrimp, saying it was also haram, and that they could eat anything with scales, but not things like shellfish or things that crawled on the bottom, or eels, things that don’t have scales. Is that religion or local tradition?

    Oops! Too many questions?

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 3, 2013 | Reply

  9. Intlxpatr

    In Islam the rules are ,every thing is allowed except what has been specifically excluded , and thats the mercy from God upon the humans . Plentiful versus few exception,

    So as the 9 items above are clearly prohibited then the rest is ok to eat .

    Having said that ,different sects in Islam have added their own restrictions as per their own understanding , but didn’t allow any of the exclusions . Thats expected out of their extra concerns. like you said not eating shrimps ( that could be an excellent place to import shrimps from since people don’t eat it there ) or for instance Shia Muslims don’t eat certain type of fish like sharks, or some other sect who dont eat certain creatures of the sea that looks un wholesome or squeamish .

    we have been told Quran is not a science book to say don’t do this , or eat that because its effect is disease or sickness , we are told to follow the rulings and believe in in them , if science comes up with answer later on , then thats fine and good

    Another rule is for Muslims to take their concerns as answered in general and not to delve into their specifics to minute details, splitting hair so to speak . That could be an answer to your questions about restaurants in the USA , where one can order a meal , such as beef or fish or vegetables , or maybe one can tell the server that he / she cant eat pork , or its products ,like the vegetarians do , One can eat at Halal or Kosher restaurants , or eat at home .

    There will be a test on this subject next time so prepare yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by daggero | November 3, 2013 | Reply

  10. LLOOLL, well, I have had a good instruction, so I may do well on the test ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for your patience.

    I like the bottom line, which seems to be that God/Allah looks at the intention of the heart, if I understand it correctly, and does not require us to be compulsive or obsessive about food.

    I have good friends who said that if a Moslem is dying of thirst in the desert and the only drink available is alcohol, that God wants them to drink, not die of thirst, that he wants man to use his head and that under those circumstances it is OK, because God is merciful.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 3, 2013 | Reply

  11. On exceptions :
    Exceptions are allowed in food and drink as long as the need is genuine and the rule not abused intentionally .
    If one is in a famine or in thirst and there is no alternative but to eat the forbidden meat or perish then that’s allowed as an exception , same holds true for what your friend told you regarding the drinking of alcohol if nothing else is available and one may perish then thats allowed as well
    .Alcohol is added to many medicines so thats ok as well to take because of the need for the cure .
    Allah is pleased that his exceptions are utilized when needed and doesn’t frown upon the user , for Allah is all knowing of our intentions. For example in Ramadan if one is traveling he / she is allowed not to fast and to make it up onces back home .

    There is another side piont i would like to make later related to this.

    Comment by daggero | November 4, 2013 | Reply

  12. God is merciful ๐Ÿ™‚ and all-knowing.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 4, 2013 | Reply

  13. The Table :

    I thought you may would like to know about the chapter from where we were discussing the allowed food and the excluded items came from .They are mentioned in the
    Al Ma eidah which means the table. It refers to the Table that the Apostles of the prophet Jesus peace be upon him have asked the prophet to ask God to send a Table from heaven with food so it will be a feast for them verses 112 to 115 .

    ุฅูุฐู’ ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ ุงู„ู’ุญูŽูˆูŽุงุฑููŠูู‘ูˆู†ูŽ ูŠูŽุง ุนููŠุณูŽู‰ ุงุจู’ู†ูŽ ู…ูŽุฑู’ูŠูŽู…ูŽ ู‡ูŽู„ู’ ูŠูŽุณู’ุชูŽุทููŠุนู ุฑูŽุจูู‘ูƒูŽ ุฃูŽู†ู’ ูŠูู†ูŽุฒูู‘ู„ูŽ ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู†ูŽุง ู…ูŽุงุฆูุฏูŽุฉู‹ ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ุณูŽู‘ู…ูŽุงุกู ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ ุงุชูŽู‘ู‚ููˆุง ุงู„ู„ูŽู‘ู‡ูŽ ุฅูู†ู’ ูƒูู†ู’ุชูู…ู’ ู…ูุคู’ู…ูู†ููŠู†ูŽ (112) ู‚ูŽุงู„ููˆุง ู†ูุฑููŠุฏู ุฃูŽู†ู’ ู†ูŽุฃู’ูƒูู„ูŽ ู…ูู†ู’ู‡ูŽุง ูˆูŽุชูŽุทู’ู…ูŽุฆูู†ูŽู‘ ู‚ูู„ููˆุจูู†ูŽุง ูˆูŽู†ูŽุนู’ู„ูŽู…ูŽ ุฃูŽู†ู’ ู‚ูŽุฏู’ ุตูŽุฏูŽู‚ู’ุชูŽู†ูŽุง ูˆูŽู†ูŽูƒููˆู†ูŽ ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ูŽุง ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ุดูŽู‘ุงู‡ูุฏููŠู†ูŽ (113) ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ ุนููŠุณูŽู‰ ุงุจู’ู†ู ู…ูŽุฑู’ูŠูŽู…ูŽ ุงู„ู„ูŽู‘ู‡ูู…ูŽู‘ ุฑูŽุจูŽู‘ู†ูŽุง ุฃูŽู†ู’ุฒูู„ู’ ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู†ูŽุง ู…ูŽุงุฆูุฏูŽุฉู‹ ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ุณูŽู‘ู…ูŽุงุกู ุชูŽูƒููˆู†ู ู„ูŽู†ูŽุง ุนููŠุฏู‹ุง ู„ูุฃูŽูˆูŽู‘ู„ูู†ูŽุง ูˆูŽุขูŽุฎูุฑูู†ูŽุง ูˆูŽุขูŽูŠูŽุฉู‹ ู…ูู†ู’ูƒูŽ ูˆูŽุงุฑู’ุฒูู‚ู’ู†ูŽุง ูˆูŽุฃูŽู†ู’ุชูŽ ุฎูŽูŠุฑู ุงู„ุฑูŽู‘ุงุฒูู‚ููŠู†ูŽ (114) ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ ุงู„ู„ูŽู‘ู‡ู ุฅูู†ูู‘ูŠ ู…ูู†ูŽุฒูู‘ู„ูู‡ูŽุง ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ูƒูู…ู’ ููŽู…ูŽู†ู’ ูŠูŽูƒู’ููุฑู’ ุจูŽุนู’ุฏู ู…ูู†ู’ูƒูู…ู’ ููŽุฅูู†ูู‘ูŠ ุฃูุนูŽุฐูู‘ุจูู‡ู ุนูŽุฐูŽุงุจู‹ุง ู„ูŽุง ุฃูุนูŽุฐูู‘ุจูู‡ู ุฃูŽุญูŽุฏู‹ุง ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ู’ุนูŽุงู„ูŽู…ููŠู†ูŽ (115)}… (ุงู„ู…ุงุฆุฏุฉ

    The Apostles said : O Jesus son of Mary , can your God lower on to us a table from Heaven ?he replied fear God if you are faithful (112) They said we need to eat from it so our heart be in peace , and we will be certain that you have been truthful ,and we will stand witness on it (113)Jesus the son of Mary said O God send a Table from heaven to be a feast from the first to the last one of us , and to be a sign from you ,and provide for us for are the benevolent provider (114) God said i will send it down to you , but if anyone turns un believer after that i will punish him a punishment so great that i wont punish any one else like that (115)

    So that is the story of the Table , it could well be the last supper story , but i am not sure if it is the same .

    Comment by daggero | November 4, 2013 | Reply

  14. I always learn something when you comment, Daggero, and this has been fascinating. I have never heard this particular scripture before, or anything like it in our book. Most often, there are similarities. Sometimes, it is like one book illuminates the other. This quote is totally new to me.

    The thread that remains the same, I think, is that of righteousness – believing and submitting – and that God sees things differently from us, he sees intentions. The foulest sinner can receive mercy and forgiveness, and some who assume they are morally superior will be in for a bad surprise in the last days.

    I always imagine the last supper as flatbread and hummous ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe they also had a platter of mensef.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 4, 2013 | Reply

  15. Intlexpatr , Its my pleasure to share these things with you ,

    I benefited myself as well ,since i made a little research on the subject to freshen up my information on the subject . Also Its been useful for me to discuss it with my daughter on the morning drive to college .

    For your information yesterday we entered the Islamic year 1435 Hijri ( hijri = immigration ) which marks the year the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him , emigrated after 13 years of calling people to Islam from Mecca to Medina , ( where he is burried in his Mosque , the second holliest mosque in Islam after the Mecca )

    this is the link to its picture

    So total Islam time from begining to now is 1448 years, and on this auspicious occasion i wish you , AdventureMan and your family and the little ones a happy and a blessed New Islamic year

    Comment by daggero | November 5, 2013 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: