Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lunch: Crisp Makes Me Feel Like a 3 Year Old

I love falafels. I believe the first one I fell in love with was the one I ate was at Maoz, after a night of drunken fun in Philadelphia. Since then, I have enjoyed many a falafel sober and still enjoy them equally as much. With that being said, I noticed a generic looking falafel place two blocks from my work. Crisp. Hmm... interesting...should I be adventurous and try this "Chipotle" of falafels, or should I play it safe? I had to do my research first.
After looking them up online, it turns out that they bake their pita's on premise, use mostly organic foods, and change their oil every 24 hours. Their falafels had themes like the "Parisian", and the "Asian" with the obvious influences from each countries culinary traits.PLUS they have printable coupons if you just give them your email address online. After printing out a 20% off coupon, I headed out to see if this place was any good.
Wow, the line to the right is the ordering line, the line to the left is the pick up line. As you can tell, it was super packed during lunch (I went around 1pm). I must have stood in line for about 10 minutes total before I got my falafel.
Passion Fruit-Rooibos Iced Tea
I usually don't order drinks but, 1) this tea sounded interesting and 2) You can let them know who sweetened you would like it. I got mine unsweetened since I actually enjoy the taste of plain tea. They gave me what looked like only 5 ice cubes, and by the time I got to my desk, the ice had all melted. I was afraid the melted ice would effect the potency in the flavor of the tea, however it was still very aromatic. Floral undertones mixed with the tartness of the passion fruit. Good, but worth 2.25? I think I'll just stick to my canteen of water next time.
Price: $2.25
My falafel came with 2 sauces, the pink one had black sesames in it, it tasted faintly sweet and almost watermelony. The green one was the standard spicy cilantro and herb sauce

The Africa
I went with this one because it seemed to have the most interesting ingredients. Peanut sauce, sweet potatoes, corn salad, cherry tomatoes, green onions, and habanero harissa sauce.  This was pretty gigantic and it came in a cute little stand up box for "easy" eating. Easy to eat, it was not. My hands and mouth all of a sudden had the muscular coordination of a 3 year old. The corn was flying everywhere, the falafel balls kept sinking to he bottom, and the sauce managed to get on my feet. How can I possibly enjoy my falafel when all of it was everywhere but my mouth?!

I finally could take no more and got a plate, making this a "platter" dish. Notice the chopsticks, fork and knife I  thought was necessary in order to actually ingest any of it.  Anyway...lets move on.
The falafel was DELICIOUS. Crispy just like the name of the restaurant, spicy and fluffy. The sweet potatoes were creamy and molded themselves around the falafel balls. All the veggies in this were very fresh. I got the white pita, and it was doughy and chewy, nothing amazing. I almost felt it was too think. This was definitely spicy (but the spicier the better!) as I had added more hot sauce on top. I couldn't really taste the peanut sauce, perhaps because it had all gotten soaked up in the pita. Overall, flavor explosions in my mouth.
Price: $7.75 ( I got it for 5.75 with my coupon)
Verdict: Was this place over priced? Very much so. Was it delicious? Very much so. Was I full? Stuffed like a Thanksgiving day turkey! Would I come back? Only after I print out my coupons for this place, I saved 2 dollars total.  Without the coupon I would have been spending over 10 dollars on a freaking falafel (there were only 4 falafel balls in my sandwich) and drink! Lunch should never cost so much....oh and later on that day I found pieces of corn on the floor and on my co-workers desk...HER DESK! How I managed to do that, we might never know...
110 40th Street
New York, NY 10018
684 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10017

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