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Jul 24, 2006 06:03 PM

mamoun's - downhill alert?

I've always been a Mamoun's fan and naysayed the naysayers, but I will admit that the falafel I had there today was substandard or worse. It tasted like it was made from any lousy mix I've bought at the grocery store, with the unwelcome addition of way too much allspice. I still think that their babaganoush is quite good and I also enjoyed the side of tabouli that I ordered. But I don't know if I'll go back there again. I wonder if the expansion accompanies a change in ownership?

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  1. Boy I hope that's not the case. i used to live on their Shawarma.

    1. Wow - what can i say about Mamoun. Without a doubt the best falafelry and beyond in NYC for the past 20 + years. I grew up on their falafel, shawarma, chicken kabab, lentil soup, sweet hot tea, spinach pie, hummus, and more.

      BUT - i took my family there for lunch this past Sunday and can report w no hesitation that this place has gone to hell. Although Mamouns has always been a cramped, no light, dump, it was a great cramped, no light dump. This visit took the dumpiness to new extremes - the place seemed dirty. The register man who took my order was some type of hip hop dope w a sideways hat. He was obnoxious. More importantly, the food flat out sucked.

      The falafel was nowhere near the quality that it was in its heyday when it could arguably be crowned the king of US falafel. It was loaded down with tahini and lettuce and the falafel balls did not have that grand crispness that they had.

      The Shawarma used to be head and shoulders above whatever else you could find in the city, but that too has changed. They went to that big, oversized meat on the rotating spit - different than what they served for so many years. It was of poor quality - no 2 ways about that.

      The lentil soup - tho still good, did not transcend. It was warm, not piping hot. In the past it was the perfect anecdote (2nd ave deli matzo ball soup the other) for a cold - it would literally heal the eater in one dose.

      I ordered sweet tea from the bozo behind the register and he told me that the tea was unsweetened. I've been drinking this sweet tea since i was in shortpants, but this fool didn't know that.

      Dreams get crushed in this boulevard of dreams known as NYC. Here is another faded star in our firmament.


      1 Reply
      1. re: fukhed

        What about the one in New Haven? Has that gone to hell too?

      2. Glad you brought this up. I went back for a second try to make sure I wasn't just a crank, and not only were my initial concerns confirmed, but I also got a mouthful of dirt with each bite of tabouli. I feel these days that any old no-name falafel stand is preferable to Mamoun's. Take for example the falafel underdog (whose name I of course can't remember - Tasty Falafel?) on St. Mark's down the street from Mamoun's II. I went there for lunch the other day and while it was ever so slightly bland compared to Mamoun's heyday, it was at least fresh and friendly and made with care.

        1. Has anyone been to Mamouns II on st. marks? How does it compare to the first one, is it better, is it just as bad, or dare I say worse? I am a fan of Tasty Falafel. Cinderella falafel is okay, and The worst place on st. marks in my opinion is chic pea, (way too much green in the falafel). I think the only one I havent been to is mamouns II

          2 Replies
          1. re: JaredR

            The location on St Marks is awful, I ordered the falafel and shawarma. I loved the Macdougal location but I think the problem is too little turnover at Mamoun II as it tasted the falafel sat around too long before it was served to me.

            1. re: JaredR

              I ate a falafel there on Sunday and it was fresh and great--the place on St. Mark's is small but the people are nice and they play some nice gypsy music--I love the place felafel $2.50

            2. I ate there last Thursday night after the Ranger game, place was dirty but falafel and hummus were outstanding and you don't go for the decor anyway, kid behind the counter was very friendly but he was family. Would give it another shot for sure