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mascarpone

THE BEST: Felafel

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Where is the best Felafel (and why . . .):

a) in Manhattan

b) Brooklyn/Queens/Staten Island/Bronx

In Manhattan I like Jerusalem 2715 Broadway, New York 10025

Btwn 103rd & 104th St (Phone: 212-865-2295)

and Mamoun's 119 MacDougal St, New York 10012

Btwn Bleecker & W 3rd St (Phone: 212-674-8685)

In Brooklyn: Famous Pita on Coney Island Avenue between Ditmars and Newkirk.

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I used to go to mamoun's all the time while attending NYU. This was a decade ago and I still go when I can. While diminuitive I haven't found much better a falafel...something about theirs. There's a few good places on St. Marks and now LES but still not as good...

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the place right off union square west- a tiny storefront but at lunch the line used to be around the block. so good.

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I forgot to add that I like Mamoun and Jerusalem because they make the felafel reight after you order it. It is always served freshly cooked and is very flavorful.

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I agree - Mamoun's...it simply tastes fresher, 'fuller' and brighter than others I've had in NYC.

Lynne

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I really haven't tried enough places or tried them all recently enough to offer an opinion about which one is best, but I liked the very garlicky, light and airy felafel I had recently at Hoomoos Asli. Their shawarma was nothing to write home about, though. Hoomoos Asli is on the corner of Kenmare and Lafayette on the eastern periphery of SoHo.

[Edit: I think the felafel was garlicky, but it occurs to me that I had it with very garlicky hummus, so it's hard for me to separate the tastes completely by memory. Anyway, the felafel had a lot of flavor.]


Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan

 

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MANHATTAN: Hoomoos Asli

OUTER BOROUGHS (Brooklyn): SABAA - Atlantic Ave near 4th


�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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Alfanoose

Maiden Lane, NYC

Amen.

Never was particularly impressed with Mamoun's falafel despite the raves. Sure is cheap, though.


JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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Alibaba, Amsterdam between 84th and 85th. The best falafel west of Israel.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Alfanoose

Maiden Lane, NYC

Amen.

Never was particularly impressed with Mamoun's falafel despite the raves. Sure is cheap, though.

I agree, i think Chickpea is better than Mamoun's

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I like Taim (Waverly between Perry and West 11th)...of the three kinds of made-to-order felafel balls (green, roasted red pepper and harissa), I like the harissa.

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Pick A Pita on West 38th. A hole in the wall but the most amazing, well seasoned felafel! Can't be beat.

Side note - Humus Place (at 99 MacDougal and on Waverly) can't be beat for humus!

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I can't believe nobody has mentioned Azuri yet!! Best falafel I've ever had - including anything I ate in Israel. It's not only the falafel, but the amazing assortment of homemade salads that come inside with it. I challange anyone to try Azuri and then say its not the best they've had!

The second best for me is Hoomos Asli. I'm not a huge fan of Alfanoose for some reason. They use some spice that I just don't like.

~WBC

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OUTER BOROUGHS (Brooklyn): SABAA - Atlantic Ave near 4th

MJR - I live right near there and have never noticed Sabaa. Is it take out only? I usually go to Zaytoon's, Waterfalls or Bedouin Tent.

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As a kid in high school I would spend many of my weekends playing chess and drinking beers with friends on Thompson St.. We would go from the Chess Forum to the liquor store, to Mamouns or Sams Felafel..

Sam's use to be very good too. But Mamouns was always better in my book.. I think Sam's was sold about 5 or 8 years ago.. I have heard bad things since..

So in conclusion I would agree with Marscapone that Jerusalem and Mamouns are my favorite in the city.. Havent been to Ali Baba for Felafel, but had a really good shwarma over there..


Edited by Daniel (log)

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OUTER BOROUGHS (Brooklyn): SABAA - Atlantic Ave near 4th

MJR - I live right near there and have never noticed Sabaa. Is it take out only? I usually go to Zaytoon's, Waterfalls or Bedouin Tent.

It is not take out only but it is not really an eat in place (perhaps particularly if you are a single woman, but I may be being judgemental).

Their falafel has been without fail totally awesome though -- layered and spicy how I like it, huge, great value, freshly cooked falafel.

2 thumbs up.

-MJR

edit: to say, I find zaytoons and bedouin tent falafels subpar, they are more wrap sandwiches than pita stuffed falafels, and also tend to be drier and without enough of the essential falafel ball flavor.


Edited by mjr_inthegardens (log)

�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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Recently, I had the opportunity to dine at Hoomoos Asli. I had actually been there about a year before, but had the shwarma, and, as a result, never went back.

The felafel was very fresh, flavorful and much larger than the smaller felafel balls that I was accustomed to at Jerusalem and Mamoun's. A large order was $7.00 and was plenty for two. We also had a lentil and Yemenite (chicken with a mild curry-like broth) soups and fairly good pita.

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OK so i spent my first year in NYC living a block from Mamoun's, so I was raised on their falafel, though for a time I defected to Ali Baba across the street (the counter guy who so skillfully assembled one of the best sandwiches I remember eating left to become an engineer, no joke, and the replacements just never got it right).

That said, Mamoun's still does it right, and their hot sauce is killer. The hot sauce is an important part of the falafel experience for me, and I can't abide a place that passes off bottled sauce as acceptable.

I have been having great experiences at Chickpea, though their falafel is a bit more "haute" than the Mamoun's classic, and would definitely recommend it.

I live in downtown BK now, and I do love the food at Waterfalls, but I usually get a platter and not a sandwich, so though I love their falafel, I can't comment on it in sandwich form.

Finally, my main man Ali at Kebab Cafe in Astoria, makes the most amazing sandwich I have had to date. Perfect falafel, perfect hummus, slivered apples, fresh greens. The man's a genius, and supposedly trained at the CIA. Go now!

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I had Felafel at Azuri. It was a smaller, medalion shaped Felafel like Hoomoos Asli; however, it is considerably smaller and they only give you three when you order the deluxe felafel plate. The portion/value is much better at Hoomoos Asli.

Also, on both occassions that I went to Hoomoos Asli, the Felafel were cooked after I ordered them. At Azuri, I had some that had been made earlier.

Somewhat off topic; the accompaniments to the Felafel at Azuri were sublime (Hummus, Babaganoosh, cabbage, spicy green sauce, various pickeled vegetables). I prefer the pita at Hoomoos Asli.

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In really like the felafil at a place on 30th Ave. in Astoria. It's real name is not very memorable but the sign on the awning is - PITA HOT. So, everyone just calls the place Pita Hot (not Hot Pita). Khalid, originally from Syria, makes really tasty felafil, and they are fresh and wonderfully spiced. He has this amazing bright red cabbage that he puts on the sandwich, which I love. It's acidic and lemony but still a bit crunchy. He marinates it in lemon and vinegar, I think. Whenever I'm in there waiting for my sandwich, he always gives me a little sample of the hummus or baba ghanouj. I love this place.

I've also got more love to express for Kabab Cafe, where I ate last week. Oh my, Ali's wonderful food! I had the plate that includes the little felafil, and they were really dynamite. I live about a 5 minute walk from there, and have been so involved with my neighborhood north of Astoria Blvd. (Ditmars) that I have negelected exploring more the Arab neighborhood I'm also very close to. Well, that's going to change. Lucky me!

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I had lunch at Alfanoose today. It was very good, but I have my issues. The laffa used at Alibaba is better for 3 reasons: 1)it's warmed up 2)better texture and 3)tastes better. Bread aside, very tasty falafel balls. And I liked the addition of pickled turnip.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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What are people's thoughts of Chickpea on 3rd Ave. right near Astor Pl.? Never had the falafel, but the "chickplant" sandwich (eggplant and toppings in pita) is quite good.

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