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Pita Grill--Worst Falafel Ever!

j
JeffZee May 18, 2009 11:37 AM

Just had the singular worst falafel experience ever at Pita Grill on 7th Avenue & W26/27 Street in Chelsea. For starters, it seems they bake and not fry the falafel, which is probably the seeds of why their falafel sucks. The falafel I had was uncooked in the center and eating a mush of chickpea flavored ingredients does not make for good eating. And their standard issue "carrot tehina" is also appalling. I used to believe the old axiom that any falafel is good falafel until my run-in with Pita Grill. If you do go to this chain of NYC restaurants, do not order the falafel.

  1. LeahBaila May 18, 2009 11:59 AM

    I hate everything there EXCEPT for the chicken rice bowl.

    www.thelunchbelle.com

    2 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila
      princeofpork May 18, 2009 12:37 PM

      I love the chicken rice bowl also. The only other thing worth getting is the soups. I must have had 5 different ones and they are all excellent.

      1. re: LeahBaila
        jakew8 May 18, 2009 04:19 PM

        Another +1 for the rice bowls. I agree that the rest of the menu is weak.

        BTW, chickpea also bakes its falafel--but they're a little better than Pita Grill's.

        cups123, excellent falafel can be had at Mamoun's or, IMO, Taksim or Sip Sak (both of which are sit-down and more pricey, esp. the latter).

      2. c
        cups123 May 18, 2009 12:06 PM

        where is a good falafel place you recommend in the city?

        8 Replies
        1. re: cups123
          d
          david sprague May 18, 2009 04:49 PM

          azuri on 51st (or is it 52nd?) off 10th avenue is the absolute tops in my book.

          while i've got sympathy for the idea of baked falafel -- weight watching and all -- the actuality just doesn't cut it.....

          1. re: david sprague
            c
            cups123 May 18, 2009 04:59 PM

            I looked at their menu - if you order falafel to take out is it like a platter or a sandwich?

            1. re: cups123
              c
              comiendosiempre May 18, 2009 07:29 PM

              In midtown, Crisp, on 3d Avenue and 44th has very good falafel and hummus. Always packed. They bake their own pitas on site. The owner said they have now opened, or will open another location, in the west 40s. Maoz, in Union Square has great falafel, as does Rainbow, also off of Union Square. To me, the hummus quotient is almost important as the falafel. They both need to be great. Each of these three spots also has great hummus. For bread, or falafel/hummus friendly bread, Olympic Pita, on wet 39th, has great house made laffa bread, fresh out of the oven.

              I've never been happy at Pita Grill.

            2. re: david sprague
              p
              Pan May 19, 2009 06:54 PM

              51st.

            3. re: cups123
              e
              ekdd May 19, 2009 01:24 AM

              taim in the village

              1. re: cups123
                f
                foodluvngal May 21, 2009 05:24 AM

                Murray's - on 1st Avenue between 15th/16th. Delicious falafel and pretty much everything else!

                1. re: cups123
                  h
                  harmony758 May 22, 2009 11:36 AM

                  My bf was going on and on and on about Moshe's Falafel truck y'day. Pretty good (although not the best sauce I've had). The large falafel may also be the BIGGEST falafel sandwich I've ever had. Couldn't finish it. I also recommend the fries...but you might want to share. Salty, delish, and lots of them!

                  1. re: harmony758
                    d
                    david sprague May 22, 2009 12:15 PM

                    the half is usually enough for me....at three-fifty, for four falafel balls and a little salad, it's a super filling lunch

                2. u
                  UWStoSONO May 19, 2009 04:38 PM

                  I had to go there a week ago for a quick bite and it tasted like someone spilled a salt shaker on my food.

                  1. l
                    Lettucepray May 19, 2009 07:40 PM

                    Go visit Pita Joe

                    http://www.pitajoe.com/

                    everything is delicious!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Lettucepray
                      s
                      sea97horse May 22, 2009 09:45 AM

                      Second Pita Joe!

                      1. re: sea97horse
                        e
                        ekdd Apr 18, 2010 06:44 AM

                        tried pita joe.....excellent grilled chicken , felafel and and salads. Would still give taim overall edge though

                    2. c
                      cups123 May 21, 2009 05:53 AM

                      While I've never tried it myself, I have heard rave reviews about pick a pita .

                      1. m
                        MahatmaKanejeeves May 21, 2009 07:10 AM

                        Ashkara on Houston St. is good. Nice pita. Fried falafal. There is another place down the block that bakes. Mine last weekend was fried to extreme crunchiness. It depends on who is working.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: MahatmaKanejeeves
                          LeahBaila May 21, 2009 07:28 AM

                          Second Ashkara...good stuff.

                          www.thelunchbelle.com

                          1. re: LeahBaila
                            p
                            Pan May 21, 2009 02:03 PM

                            What are people getting there that I'm not? The one time I went, I found their falafel dry and tasteless. That was at least a year ago.

                            1. re: Pan
                              LeahBaila May 22, 2009 05:06 AM

                              Agreed, HOWEVER, the chicken rice bowl is really good (ask for 2 sides of dressing). That is the only thing I will touch from PG. Trust me, give it a shot!

                              www.thelunchbelle.com

                              1. re: LeahBaila
                                e
                                eeee May 22, 2009 02:40 PM

                                in that immediate area I like Pita Hut on 23rd between 7th and 8th (closer to 7th)

                        2. j
                          JeremyEG Apr 19, 2010 07:56 AM

                          That really is a terrible sandwich. I thought I had ordered the wrong thing when I got it home and bit into it.
                          JeremyEG

                          1. e
                            ExFlexitarian Apr 19, 2010 08:30 AM

                            Agreed. I ordered from the same location and found the falafel to be really mushy and 'muddy' tasting. I guess they prey on those poor FIT students who don't really have nearby lunch options?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ExFlexitarian
                              j
                              JeremyEG Apr 19, 2010 09:16 AM

                              Or they're just really bad cooks. : )
                              JeremyEG

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