I am researching the nyc falafel market-
can all the food experts give me their opinion on which places are their favorite in the following catagories?
salads- which one?
take out containers
Thank you everyone- it seems like there are only a few place that people claim to be the best-
Having tried those places I felt that the falafels were no better than average
most of them dont even bake the pita fresh-
Has anyone had fresh juicy falafel with fresh pita anywhere in the city?
I've always been an Azuri Cafe fan -- my favorite falafel and shawarma in the city. I've been going for about seven or eight years now. The falafel is always perfectly fried and greaseless; the sandwich has the right quantity of each component so that you don't have stuff squirting out the sides while you're only halfway through; the hummus is great and I usually get some to go, even though I mostly make my own otherwise.
I don't usually note your latter categories -- I'm not picky about ambience if I'm getting a consistently great falafel sandwich (or any other food, for that matter). Azuri's got a longstanding reputation for being a bit of a grouch, but he's always been nice to me, and there are always imported Israeli juices/sodas in the cooler. He closes early on Friday and all day Saturday for Shabbat, it's a small space that gets crowded at lunchtime, and the location is a bit out of the way (near 10th Ave). But It's always worth it.
Tried crisp the other evening after reading positive reviews on chowhound, and thought it tasted like falafel from a box--and those black seeds look like mouse droppings throughout--did not care for the other hard spicing in there either--strange with all those extra spices, it just tasted bland, and as if the outside had no connection to the inside--it was also that dreaded yellow inside----I like falafel that is green and moist inside, certainly not wet or gooey but moist and connected to its crispy exterior not a separated fluffly interior--also, their tahini was average at best, and that yogurt sauce was an abomination--the salads were fresh, and I found it perplexing that something that looked so fresh, could taste so processed in a sense....guess I'm in the minority about this place..as a comparision, I thought the falafel at Taim was very good (the green one), and they have good hot sauce as well------------Best falafel I think is out in Queens at Hapisgah--or Grill Point...will have to try the pick a pita place and place on west 51st st--tried Olympic in Brooklyn, and didn't think it compared to places in queens.
i'm sorry to report that i am a mamoun's hater. yes, it's decent for cheap falafel but if you're not a starving undergrad do yourself a favor and go to hummus on st. mark's. the other place that i would recommend would be, although i'm not sure if still there, is hoomoos asli on clevend & kenmare. delicous. and as much as i hate to admit it crisp in midtown is damn good. the decor is cheesey as are the instructions on the sandwich sleeve that tell you how to eat it but the food is top knotch and the people working are very friendly.
Another vote for Pita Joe. Excellent falafel itself, freshly-made pitas (both white and even better, whole wheat.) Home-made lemonade in several varieties (but of course I always have the mint.) My favorites of the salads are the Israeli, Moroccan beet, and white cabbage. And I agree with Jess that the service is really nice!
Taim in the West Village is, in my opinion, the best in the city for falafel balls and overall falafel sandwich. They use fresh ingredients and their falafel are light. That's not to say that they aren't filling--only that they don't sit likes balls of lead in your stomach. They also offer falafel in three flavors: green, red, and harissa. I agree that Pita Joe deserves honorable mention.
For hummus, I think it's a draw between Hummus Place and Mimi's Hummus. Both serve their hummus with warm, fluffy pita--not that flat, dry stuff you buy at the market. As I recall, Mimi's also throws in some pickles and olives.
Hummus Place is a local chain with locations on the Upper West Side, and in the East Village, West Village, and Greenwich Village (proper). I particularly recommend the Hummus Masabacha, which is hummus with whole chickpeas, spices, and a parsley sauce on top.
Mimi's Hummus is Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, and is well worth the trip on the Q train. A server there described their hummus as "velvety"--a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. It may be the smoothest hummus I've ever had.
222 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10014
71 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
2 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
Though I've never ordered falafel there (I like the Purple Joe with eggplant/hard boiled egg), the hummus and the pita at Pita Joe are amazing. And cheap! I really like the whole wheat pita bread, its very fluffy and always fresh. Its near Union Square on the SW corner of 14th and 5th. They also have a good selection of lemonades, which change daily and can include iced tea or guava flavors. The staff there is really nice, and I'm not sure why store design is on your list, but it's pretty small yet has adequate seating.