ReALTO Review of Hummus and Pita Co.
ReALTO Review of Taïm
ReALTO Falafel Review
I love to eat fancy food, but right now, my funds are terribly limited. After working for two solid years, I got laid off. So, how does a foodie like me reconcile the ups and downs of her ever dwindling bank account with her champagne tastes? I look to my college days, and the oh-so-satisfying budget friendly falafel. But I do not just settle for ANY falafel – only the tastiest. My top two spots are the Hummus and Pita Co. and Taïm.
585 6th avenue at 17th Street
The Hummus and Pita Co. is to Falafel as Chipotle is to Burritos. Is it wholly authentic? No. Does it satisfy the falafel urge and do you find that you put an obscene amount of toppings on your sandwich? Yes. What sets this establishment apart from the rest is that they bake their pita fresh on the premises.
For just $4.95 you get your falafel sandwich, choice of humus, one “Fill It” topping – more complex salads, rice, tabuleh etc., one sauce, and unlimited “Top It’s” – your typical lettuce, tomato, pickle fair.
Their srug and harissa sauces leave one wanting for the strong flavors that those labels promise, and I wouldn’t eat their hummus by the bowl. However, they generally do not sacrifice taste for value. There is nothing worse than a falafel ball that is crisped and dried all the way through, but not to worry – the Hummus and Pito Co.’s are never like this. Their falafel balls are delicious! The secret, in my opinion, is that they use green chickpeas and are therefore able to achieve the perfect balance between a golden brown crispy outside and a smooth flavorful inside. The rest of the toppings are made to compliment the featured filling, and in the end you get a packed to the brim, ridiculously satisfying lunch on a budget.
222 Waverly Place
Nestled on a quiet shaded street in the West Village, Taïm is my ultimate falafel spot. Taïm translates to “tasty, delicious” from Hebrew, and they do not lie. Gluten free, mostly vegan and often locally sourced, there is no better falafel in the city. And if you can’t get to the West Village, find out where their food truck is here. At $6.25 for a sandwich, Taïm is a splurge as falafel goes. But I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Remember that thing about green chickpeas? They do that and more. Taïm’s falafels are crispy, rich, and almost juicy as you bite into them – all with flavorful twists.
Their original green falafel has hints of coriander and cumin; they also serve harissa flavor – light red, really spicy, and my personal favorite, and their flavor of the day – sometimes roasted red pepper or kalamata olive. You really can’t go wrong with any option. They fill their pitas with hummus, Israeli salad, pickled cabbage and tahini – and if you ask for it “with everything” you will also get amba, srug, pickles and hot sauce. I bet you’ve already guessed that I get mine with everything, and I suggest that you do the same. A Taïm Pita, will hit you with an abundance of flavors and textures, slightly sweet creamy tahini, smooth crisp falafel, crunchy salads, exotic herbs and spices.
It is really divine and certainly helps me forget that I’m tightening my belt – in fact I’m probably loosening it, because honestly, I can barely finish a whole pita as the portions are extremely generous.