FANWOOD, NJ -- Since being honored for making "Best Soup in New Jersey" by The Daily Meal last week, sales of The Fanwood Grille's many varieties of soup have quadrupled. Among the most popular choices include butternut squash, New England clam chowder, pasta fagioli, traditional chicken soup (flying off the shelves in flu season), and zesty Spanish chicken soup.

Chef Paul Watterson lamented that some visitors to the eatery expressed disappointment over the lack of vegan and gluten-free soups. That has all changed with the introduction of Falafel Soup this week. The eatery, located at 34 So. Martine Ave. in downtown Fanwood, was ranked along with top restaurants in cities known for their great cuisine, including New York, San Francisco, Boston and New Orleans.

The soup is made by cooking some of the vegetables that are used in making the Grille's famed falafel, along with gluten-free vegetable broth, a falafel ball that retains its texture even in the soup, and tahini sauce. 

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Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern dish of spiced mashed chickpeas formed into balls and deep-fried with chopped salad and served in pita bread. The Fanwood Grille sources its falafel from Allon Shadmi, founder of Falafel Eats, which uses imported Israeli spices and pitas flown in from Israel to make falafel sandwich platters. Chef Paul Watterson has now combined one of his top-selling specialty items with his award-winning soups.

"Our Falafel Soup is low salt, vegan and gluten-free, a combination that customers have come in asking for. Sometimes vegan and gluten-free items are bland, but that's not the case with our Falafel Soup; I expect it will take off quickly," Watterson says. "After all, you can't find Falafel Soup anywhere else!"

Allon Shadmi, who has worked for years to perfect his falafel recipe and has sourced ingredients directly from Israel, is thrilled with the taste and texture of Falafel Soup. 

"It's like Goldilocks -- not too hot, not too cold. -- it's just right," Shadmi said. "Falafel soup is heathy, tasty, original, vegan and gluten-free. What else could you ask for?"

Orders are available for pick-up or delivery. With advance notice, The Fanwood Grille can host a party or event. To place an order, call (908) 322-9500 or visit, where you can pay in advance online and have your food ready in advance. 

Fanwood Grille 
34 South Martine Ave. (across from the train station)
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Editor's Note: TAPintoSPF editor John Mooney is an owner of The Fanwood Grille.

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