Exactly what makes good felafel? Every Israeli has an opinion—or two! But all agree that the pita must be soft and supple, the oil fresh, and the felafel freshly fried so that it's crisp and enticing rather than leaden. As for accompaniments…Well, that brings me back to my own explorations of felafel. In my day, felafel stands did serve some vegetable garnishes, but now they offer so many that they resemble salad bars. Such bounteousness has a history: In Tel Aviv's Bezalel market a number of felafel stands sprouted in the 1960s, all fiercely competitive. Each began offering new items to distinguish itself from its neighbor, and gradually the stands came to be decorated with whole towers of pickles, salads, and relishes. Meanwhile, it seems, similar lavishness was spreading throughout the land. Today there's only one felafel stand, Felafel Yosef, left in the Bezalel—the rest have been crowded out by the clothing stalls that have become the market's raison d'etre—but it upholds the tradition: The condiments include zeh.ug (red and green), amba, teh.inah, pickled cabbage in three hues (red, yellow, and white), sliced bell peppers, sliced tomatoes, fried battered potatoes, fried eggplant, cucumber salad, and pickled hot peppers.